HIBBING — When Meghan Potter was a student at Hibbing High School, she told then Athletic Director Milt Verant that she wanted his job someday.
She didn’t exactly take over for Verant, but that day came eight years ago when Potter was hired by Independent School District 701 in the community education department.
After one year with community education, Potter took over as the Bluejackets’ activities director, and for seven years, she did the best job she could to keep the department running smoothly.
This coming year, Potter will be moving onto a bigger adventure as she was hired as activities director at Wayzata High School.
Her last day in Hibbing will be June 30. She’ll start her new position on July 1.
Potter will always remember her first activities-director job in Hibbing.
“Coming back to Hibbing was special,” Potter said. “Not many people come back to their Alma Mater to serve in the community like that. It was an honor to do that in this job.”
Potter found out early that being an activities director had its ups-and-downs, but it made her grow as an individual.
“This job throws everything at a person,” Potter said. “You have to be prepared, but the bottom line is you have to be willing to serve the school and the kids. It boils down to the students and student-athletes playing the games they love to play.
“It’s being able to support them and watch them grow. This has been an amazing experience. It has taught me a lot in regards to treating everyone with kindness and respect. You treat them how you would want to be treated.”
Potter made a point of showing as much compassion as she could in her daily routine.
“My whole time here I talked to the kids, and I learned from them,” Potter said. “I tried to make it into a position that showed them that I cared for them, that they had an ally in that office.”
Potter never had any set plans to leave Hibbing, but the Wayzata job came out of nowhere.
“We weren’t necessarily looking for anything, but with the connections I have at the high school league and with my mentors, they mentioned the Wayzata job was going to be open,” Potter said. “After talking with Tom (Dicklich), we decided to try it, and see what would happen.”
“Wayzata is probably one of the top positions in the state in terms of campus, school (3,900 students) and teams. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I felt I couldn’t pass up.”
According to Potter, the interview process was intense, but everything she learned in Hibbing gave her the confidence and courage to go for it.
She’ll take the same philosophy she used in Hibbing with her to her new job.
“It’s a big difference compared to Hibbing, but the bottom line is we still deal with the same things,” Potter said. “You put the students first. I want what’s best for the community.
“I’ll still be dealing with people. A lot of this job is PR, making sure we’re out in the community, we’re visible at events and showing we support our students 100-percent.”
It didn’t take long for Potter to get thrown from the frying pan and into the fire.
“It’s been a whirlwind trying to finish things up here,” she said. “There’s a fine line between the two jobs. I had to help with the girls basketball interviews. That was my first eye-opening, trial-by-fire experience there.”
With such a quick turn-around date, Potter has been tying up loose ends in Hibbing, which hired Keith Turner as its new activities director.
“Keith and I met, and I basically left this position in a good spot, so Keith doesn’t have to recreate the wheel,” Potter said. “He can take what I’ve done, and put his own spin on it. We have great coaches and advisors.
“The hardest thing for me is leaving those coaches and advisors, but I’m finishing up what I need to finish up. The schedules are set, and the officials are hired. I’m making sure all of the Ts are crossed and Is are dotted. Now, Keith has a chance to create his own identity here.”
When she does walk out the doors for that last time, it’ll be a bittersweet moment for Potter.
“It has been an amazing eight years here, but all good things have to come to an end,” she said. “At the same point, you have to take a leap into a new adventure. This is huge leap, but I can take what I learned in Hibbing and transition that into Wayzata.”