Findlay City Schools will start the 2014-15 school year with a new superintendent at the helm. Edward Kurt, hired to replace outgoing Superintendent Dean Witter, officially begins his duties August 1. Now Kurt, the longtime Margaretta Local Schools superintendent in Castalia, OH, is learning more about Findlay, where his parents grew up and where he still has relatives.
Kurt, a graduate of Ohio State and Ashland Universities, began his education career as a math teacher. He has been married for nearly 30 years and is the father of six children, ranging in age from 19 to 29, and grandfather to one.
Why were you interested in the Findlay superintendent position?
I have always had a high regard for Findlay City Schools and the Findlay community. I have always challenged myself to take on more responsibilities and the Findlay superintendent position is a great opportunity. I am excited about the community partnerships that exist and the support the school receives from the entire community.
What do you feel are the strengths of the Findlay City School system?
The programs and opportunities that FCS presents to its students are outstanding. I also like that in their goals and strategies they work hard with students to have a personal goal and to take ownership of their education. The support and partnerships with the community and parents is a great asset.
What are some of the challenges our school system faces in the future?
Right now FCS, as all schools, faces new initiatives in education. Never in my 25 years in education have I witnessed this many initiatives. Curriculum, technology, evaluation process, finances, and even health benefits are a few of the many issues on our plate right now. Coordination of our efforts for clearly defined goals and initiatives backed up by quality professional development is essential. Our bottom line is education of the students and we need to use quality data to evaluate our instructional strategies to push toward optimum academic achievement. We also need to work hard to control our expenditures and be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. To walk in and start making changes is not wise. I will be evaluating our entire district, looking for ways to operating more efficiently, while improving academic achievement.
What will be some of your first priorities as Findlay superintendent?
Coordination with staff to create a smooth transition. Also, meeting with board, administration, faculty, and staff to acclimate to the district, beginning the evaluation process of all aspects of district operations.
Is there anything you would like to say to Findlay parents about the years ahead?
The quote I always use is: “Kids don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Our students need administration, faculty, and staff who have a passion to work with students and really care about them as people. The driving force is to make a difference in your child’s life. As a father of six, and grandfather of one, that is what I wanted for my children and want for my granddaughter. Our education team at Findlay City Schools will work hard to provide that environment for students.