Norfolk activities director resigns, recovering from long-term COVID-19 effects

NORFOLK, Neb. - Norfolk Public Schools Activities Director Ben Ries resigns to focus on recovering from the long-term effects of COVID-19. 

NPS Board of Education approved the resignation Monday night.

"I always appreciated his ability to really give the same equal weight in value to all activities across the board no matter what those were," said School Board Vice President Tammy Day.

Board members praised Ries's 19 years of work with the school.

"This may be the end of his current era with administration with being a Panther but Ben Ries will always be a Panther. You can't take the Panther out of Ben Ries," said School Board member Dr. Jenna Hatfield-Waite.

The Norfolk alum will be helping the district with the transition to the new administration.

Dr. Jeff Hoffman is serving as interim activities director at the high school.

"This year has allowed me to reflect on life’s priorities. As I struggled to recover from COVID-19, the calling of my career’s ‘halftime’ became clear. It is time to pause, start planning for the second half while improving my health and dedicating time to family. There will be adjustments and game-planning to come out strong in the second half. I am excited for the next adventure - whatever it may bring. My family and I look forward to supporting the Panthers into the future!" said Ries in an NPS press release.