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The Packer Weekly: Director to begin new legacy at Sheyenne

West Fargo High School theater director Adam Panknow will be moving to Sheyenne High School starting in the fall. Special to The Pioneer

With the split between Sheyenne High School and West Fargo High School becoming more evident, sacrifices are being made to accommodate both schools. One loss for the students and staff of West Fargo is teacher and director Adam Pankow.

Pankow decided to leave West Fargo and start fresh by becoming the head theater director at Sheyenne.

He said it was his decision to move wherever he was needed, which West Fargo High School Principal Jennifer Fremstad and Sheyenne High School Principal Greg Grooters agreed was Sheyenne.

“We’ve spent about a year refining the auditorium. The design process really got me hooked into wanting to be there,” Pankow said. “I hope to bring some new ideas and traditions to establish something from the ground up.”

Although he is excited to start at Sheyenne, Pankow cannot help but feel nostalgic leaving his spot at West Fargo.

Pankow said his years of teaching along with being a graduate of West Fargo have formed a strong emotional connection.

“I was part of the second play ever performed on the stage in West Fargo,” he said.

Sophomore Kristen Aswege and junior Dalton Dunford are both feeling the discomfort of the director’s bittersweet departure.

“(It) is happy and sad that he’s leaving West Fargo, but he gets to go start a brand new theater department, which is a really good opportunity,” Aswege said. “I think us students at West Fargo will have a hard time with having him gone next year.”

Dunford also feels nostalgic about the director, who has been there for him throughout his high school career.

“Pankow not being here for my senior year is really weird and sad, but also really exciting because it’s a new challenge for me and the other students,” Dunford said. “It is also nice because the person who will be filling in for Pankow next year is someone he knows, so the transition for students will be a little easier.”

While Pankow will be missed by many, he will carry over many of his traditions and heritage to Sheyenne and believes West Fargo will be in good hands.

“He’s a guy that cares about his students way more than his job,” Dunford said. “(He) has left a really good impression on my life, and one that I won’t forget. He isn’t just a teacher – he’s a friend who wants you to do the best you can and is always there to help you.”

The Packer Weekly is an ongoing column authored by journalism students at West Fargo High School with the intent of providing awareness about and insight into a variety of school-related topics and activities. For additional information, visit