As the new activities director for Roseville Area Schools, Jeff Whisler has been busy the past couple days getting acclimated to his new post.
"This will be a work in progress," chuckled Whisler, as he began filling in his schediule with meetings and organizing his office at Roseville Area High School.
Whisler took the helm on Wednesday, Aug. 1, succeeding Scott Allen, who recently stepped down from that post and accepted an assignment as a full-time teacher at Roseville Middle School, the school district announced.
"I see this (Roseville activities director) as a great opportunity for personal and professional growth," Whisler said in an interview with Roseville Patch. "It (Roseville High School) is a bigger school. It is a great chance to work with students and hopefully make a difference in their lives."
Allen had been on leave since early May, while the school district conducted an investigation into complaints lodged against him. The complaints were believed to be related to the allegations of bullying that caused Roseville High boys head hockey coach Jeff Pauletti to resign on May 8.
The district said Allen’s re-assignment was “a voluntary transfer due to the stress and time commitments of his current assignment.”
For his part, Whisler said he had heard, in a general sense, about controversy that had involved Allen, but had no knowledge of any particulars.
"I wasn't concerned about that," Whisler, 54, said, adding, "I talked to Scott (Allen ) and Scott supported my application."
In a statement earlier this week, Whisler stated he is “committed to continuing the tradition of excellence in Raider activity programming, with special emphasis on open communication and broad based community involvement.”
Talking with Roseville Patch, Whisler said of his immediate challenges is "getting familiar with how things work in the (Roseville School) district. I am also meeting with as many people for feedback on what works and what doesn't."
Whisler said one of his goals is to increase the percentage of students who participate in the high schools activities program. "We want to have kids involved here."
But Whisler added, " I have no intention of coming in to make any large-scale changes. I want to build some on some of the great traditions (at Roseville High School) that are already in place.' Among other things, Roseville High School is "a great academic institution and the community support and leadership in the district is strong," he said. "They have outstanding athletics and fine arts program here."
Before joining Roseville, Whisler was activities director for Independent School District 832, Mahtomedi Public Schools. He has more than 20 years of experience as a school administrator, the Roseville district said in a news release.
Whisler's career also includes: special education teacher, dean of students at Hill-Murray High School and one year as acting principal in the Mahtomedi School District. He also has been boys hockey coach at Hill-Murray High School and at Mahtomedi High School.
Whisler, who grew up in North St. Paul, has a bachelor of arts degree in special education from Providence College and a master's of arts in community education from the University of St. Thomas.
He played football, hockey and baseball as a student at Hill-Murray High School and attended Providence College on a hockey scholarship.
Whisler is married to Dawn, his wife of 32 years. He has three adult daughters, Erin, Jeanne and Anne.