The Dolores school board and interview committee have chosen Phil Kasper as the interim superintendent.
School board President Dee Prock told The Journal in a phone interview on Wednesday that Kasper’s experience in education will be a valuable asset to the school and community.
“Phil lives here in our county and is very dedicated to the success of our students,” Prock said.
The board and interview committee on June 5 questioned four candidates for the position of interim superintendent of Dolores School District RE-4.
Questions centered on the candidates’ achievements and leadership styles, student achievement, district budgets and community unity.
Kasper focused on curriculum in his interview. He brought a fact sheet for the board and committee to look over and said he believes in constant improvement in all aspects of running a school.
“Those things that kids should be able to do and know – and I have been relentless in trying to improve the curriculum wherever I go because if we want to change school systems for the better, you are going to have to get to the point where you quit blaming the parents and the teachers and the administrators for everything that is wrong in society,” Kasper said. “One thing we can do is what we put in front of boys and girls every day and make sure it is quality. Make sure it is aligned, it is focused, it has purpose.”
Kasper has 40 years of experience in education. He worked as the director of school improvement in McKinley County Schools in Gallup, New Mexico, where he was responsible for 35 schools.
He also focused on communication with the community he works in and with his staff.
“On a personal basis, I try to be very effective with people. There is difference between being effective and efficient,” Kasper said. “You can not be efficient with people, you have to be effective because if you are trying to be efficient, you are trying to make time for something else when you should be concentrated on these folks.”
He described his leadership style as leading by example and working with his own cabinet. He also said he looks at board members as colleagues and said they should never try to “dominate” one another. Kasper said he would be in the district day in and day out to make sure the school “continuously improving.”
“I do not quit. I do not leave a job partially done,” Kasper said. “I am there day in and day out. I am consistent with my message: If you oppose me or want to argue with me, I am the last one that will cut in and stop you. I want to hear it, then I get my turn too.”
Kasper also spoke to the purpose of schools in a community and in a child’s life by teaching them how to learn.
“There is a whole bunch of stuff we want kids to be able to know and do,” Kasper said. “We call that a curriculum.”
Kasper also addressed Dolores district test scores. “I only have one hope – I want to get your achievement back where it belongs,” he said.