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Niki Van Essen Named Principal of Carrie Martin Elementary School

Niki Van Essen

May 19, 2022 
– Thompson School District announced today that it has named Niki Van Essen as Principal at Carrie Martin Elementary School, effective July 1.  She will fill the position that is being vacated by Della Buchmann, who is departing the district.

Ms. Van Essen is currently serving as the K-12 Principal for the district's remote learning options, which include Thompson Connect Online (TCO), Thompson Online (TOL) and Secondary Options for Achievement Resulting in Success (SOARS). Prior to that position, she worked as the Bullying Prevention Implementation Coordinator for the district. Her experience in the district also includes work as a 1st and 2nd grade teacher, EdTech Collaborative Coach and Infinite Campus Coach at Cottonwood Plains Elementary School and as an ESY Preschool Paraprofessional at the district level.

“I am excited and honored to be joining the Carrie Martin community serving as principal,” Ms. Van Essen said. “Carrie Martin Elementary is a gem within our district and I am eager to begin building sustained and strong relationships with the students, families and staff of this great school.”

Ms. Van Essen earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of South Dakota and also holds a Masters of Education and Human Resource Studies from Colorado State University.

For more information, please contact Michael Hausmann, Thompson School District Public Information Officer, at 970-613-5011 or via email at