GAYVILLE — For the last 6 1/2 years, Jason Nowak has served as jack-of-all trades for the Gayville-Volin school district.
Nowak was hired as the school's business manager, the girls' basketball coach and to teach a class.
He also added part-time technology coordinator, athletics director and daycare coordinator to his resume.
Now he is close to the end of his tenure at the school.
"I've been pretty active and involved in many different areas — from the budget, to the classroom to the athletic arena," he said. "When you have worked with a lot of different people, leave is always difficult."
Nowak is stepping down as business manager in the next couple of week as his family prepares to move to Fort Collins, Colo. Nowak's wife got a job working at Poudre Valley Medical Center in Fort Collins, which will allow her to work fewer hours than she did at the Yankton Medical Clinic.
And Nowak will also be working fewer hours at his job with Triple Crown Sports Management.
With more free time, it will allow the Nowaks, who have two daughters (ages 3 and 8), more time together.
"The biggest benefit of the move is that we will have more time together as a family," Jason Nowak said. "Obviously, the opportunity and ability to be together is important."
However, leaving Gayville-Volin will still be hard for Nowak and his family.
"When you work every day for six years with everyone, you build relationships and friendships, and it's difficult to leave them," he said. "We have a lot of friends in Yankton and Gayville, but ultimately, our family comes first."
Nowak's oldest daughter will be dealing with her first move while she is in school, and he said the thought of leaving the area hasn't hit her yet.
"She's excited to move and to be in a new school with new friends, but sad to know that she is going to be leaving her classmates," Nowak said. "She knows where she is moving, but in her mind, it's not a permanent thing. We have tried to make the move as positive as possible, and she is mostly excited that she will get her own bathroom."
Nowak's 3-year-old daughter will start preschool in Fort Collins during the winter semester.
A piece of Nowak will still be in Gayville, though. During his time as athletic director, Nowak helped spearhead the operation to build a new football field for the school.
He said he is especially proud of that project because the school basically built the field itself.
"We didn't bring in a contractor, so we did a lot of labor ourselves. We saved a lot of money by doing it, and I was pretty much the general contractor," he said. "When you see a project like that get done, you take a lot of ownership and pride. There were a lot of people involved in this project, and it was a dream that was put to fruition."
Nowak said the new football field cost a fourth of what it would have if the school had hired a contractor for it.
Now, Nowak's project is to train his replacement. Alice Hight, who worked the previous 12 years as Hurley's business manager, will take over at Gayville-Volin.
"We have been working together the last two weeks," Nowak said. "She knows the job and the things she needs to do, it's just showing her how I did certain things and what I budgeted for."
As Nowak's family prepares to move to Colorado, he said they would miss the area.
"We are going to miss the school and the community, and I just want to thank the people in Gayville and Volin for the opportunity here," he said. "They gave me the opportunity to work here, and I hope I was able to do a good job for their school. I appreciate everything they have done for me and my family."