New principal named for Farmington High SchoolThe Farmington School District has chosen Tartan High School assistant principal Ben Kusch to replace Farmington High School principal Monica Kittock-Sargent when she retires at the end of the school year.
By: Nathan Hansen, The Farmington Independent
The Farmington School District has chosen Tartan High School assistant principal Ben Kusch to replace Farmington High School principal Monica Kittock-Sargent when she retires at the end of the school year.
The district announced its decision March 13.
Kusch has a master's degree in teaching from St. Thomas University and earned his administrative license from the University of Minnesota. He taught Spanish at Tartan for five years before taking over as assistant principal at the Oakdale school.
Kusch, 34, who lives in Apple Valley, said he didn't know much about the Farmington district before applying for the job. But he said he's excited about what he has learned since. He looks forward to the challenge of dealing with a growing student enrollment and with restructuring when ninth grade moves to the high school building in the fall of 2009.
"We're changing the structure of the district pretty significantly," Kusch said. "Changing what the middle-level program looks like. Changing what the high school looks like. Not only are we changing systematically, there's a big physical change on the way."
As an administrator Kusch founded a staff development effort at Tartan based on professional learning community principles. He has also been responsible for coordinating the school's ninth grade transition program, an effort similar to the Link Crew efforts currently in place to ease sophomores' transition to the high school building. He said it's a principal's job to be a kind of "superfan" for the building.
“Ben will be an excellent addition to the district and will provide strong leadership to the high school community,” superintendent Brad Meeks said, particularly noting Kusch’s strong communications skills and ability to engage students. “With the new high school ready to open in 18 months, Ben has the skills to get up to speed with the staff to ensure a smooth transition for the fall of 2009.”
Kusch said he plans to work with Meeks and with Kittock-Sargent to get up to speed before he takes over this spring.
"I'm really looking forward to it," he said. It's an interesting spring. It's kind of tough, because i know I've got my feet in two different worlds. I'm an administrator here (at Tartan) with a lot of responsibility but I'm also chomping at the bit to get to the nitty-gritty of what it's like to be part of the Farmington community."
Look for a complete story in next week's Independent.