New A.L. activities director passionate about increasing student participation

Published 1:25 pm Wednesday, July 5, 2023

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When an opportunity comes along, some people jump at it. Such is the case with David Langerud, a Forest City native, who was hired as the new activities director for Albert Lea Area Schools.

“I was actually looking through our job applications through the Minnesota High School League, and saw that they had an opening,” he said. “I grew up in the area, wanted to come back, wanted to be closer to where I grew up.”

And while it’s been years since he’s been in the area, he was familiar with the area and had connections to people here.

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“I would say I’m fairly well-versed in Albert Lea,” he said.

Langerud has nine years of experience as an athletics director at St. Cloud Area School District 742, which he described as a great experience. He also admitted that while that district was much bigger with more students, he said the districts were similar in what they were doing.

“We had 70-plus activities that we would manage, so we weren’t just varsity sports or athletics,” he said. “They were all activities, anything from speech, to mock trial to VEX robotics.”

Langerud believed communication and relationship-building skills were the biggest attributes he’ll bring to the position. His goal is building a culture where everyone could be excited about every activity.

Because he played basketball, baseball, track and football in high school, he’s passionate about sports. He even managed to play football in college.

For him, sports motivated him at school and going to classes.

“It’s where I had my friend groups, it’s where I learned a lot of lessons about life and how to be a leader, how to be a follower, how to do a lot of different things,” he said.

He’s also passionate about music, arts and theater, as he was in theater and musicals in high school.

“All activities are important to me, and I think they’re important for all of us and for all students to be involved in at least one activity,” he said.

He even performed in dinner theaters outside of school.

Langerud is also bringing an ambitious goal to the district: Have every student involved with at least one activity.

“It helps kids be more well-rounded, it gets them [to be] part of something that they are passionate about and love,” he said. “They get to learn about teamwork, they get to learn about being part of something bigger than themselves.”

And he wants students to care about activities to foster a culture of inclusivity, and to build something exciting for Albert Lea, students and residents to rally around. He also felt there were many opportunities for student involvement.

In the meantime, he plans to listen to figure out what is needed.

Langerud described himself as passionate about student success and providing them the best experiences possible during their high school years.

To that effect, he was impressed with what he described as a “cohesive, team feel.”

“Most of the things that I’ve seen have been an unbelievable on-boarding process, everybody’s been extremely positive,” he said.

His hobbies include playing music, and he’s currently in the band Cruise Control, which he described as a wedding dance band. He also enjoys playing golf and fishing.

And he enjoys watching sports.

“I’m a Chicago Bears fan — unfortunately for a lot of the Minnesota people they tease me about that,” he said. “I’ve been a Bears fan since I grew up in Iowa and we could only watch the Bears on TV.”

He has four children with his wife, Lori. Lori is set to take a position within the district as well.

In a press release, Langerud thanked the district’s leadership, including outgoing Activities Director Paul Durbahn and Activities Director Administrative Assistants Megan LeBrun and Holly Dahl.