Jenna Donaldson, Payton Wurtz | staff writers
The new USD 329 superintendent may be new to the district, but he isn’t new to the community.
Troy Pitsch grew up in Wabaunsee County, attending Alma Grade School, and said some of his fondest memories were made here, whether he was watching his older brother play football, or doing 4-H events like the Wabaunsee County fair.
Pitsch sat down with The Charger during the first week of school to discuss his outlook for the district.
Q: What attracted you to the district?
A: 40 years ago I was walking these streets, I was jumping off the high dive at the swimming pool when they put it in the first year. I spent time here as a child, attending kindergarten at Alma elementary. I was very much a part of the community.
I remember being in 4-H events like the county fair, or cheering on my brother play football. I have all these fantastic memories of my childhood and they are all centered around Wabaunsee and the Wabaunsee Community. There’s magic in this community, you just have to realize it.
Q: What are your primary goals for the district?
A: Keeping up the momentum. Our academics are strong and our test scores are strong compared to other districts in the area, and the state. I want to capitalize on what we are already doing strong, look for places we could grow, then grow in those areas.
Q: How do you view the role of student journalism in our district at Wabaunsee?
A: I want to hear everyone’s perspective, learn other moral views and hear what everyone thinks. The charger highlights what’s good for the community. It gives a chance for students to exercise their rights to freedom of speech. It involves students in conversation and includes the opinions of other students.
Q: What are the biggest challenges you’ve seen so far at Wabaunsee?
A: Definitely facilities. The schools budgets are always tight due to low enrollment. Most of the money is going towards helping the buildings not crumble. We really need to establish a solid budget and long term plan of how money gets distributed.
Q: Challenges facing education politically?
A: There are issues on both sides. The right side, the more conservative side, public education is a failed system and they are pushing more for private schools, which results in the haves and the have nots. Some kids can’t afford to attend a private school. This would make it more difficult for some children to get to school to have a free, public, world class education. On the Liberal side, they are trying to push more onto teacher’s plates. To push schools to teach kids what they think is right and wrong and to point out the errors in out nation’s history because they feel like the parents aren’t doing a good job parenting their kids. Teachers already have a lot of roles to take on, so adding more to their plates clouds their work, it makes what they already do well more difficult.
Q: What are some hobbies you enjoy when you’re not at work?
A: My grandchildren down in Texas really enjoy playing Roblox with me. Unfortunately I know way too much about Roblox that I think any adult ever should. Taking care of and spending time with my pets. And of course spending time with my wife. My job keeps me busy so in my down time it’s just hanging out with my best friend.
Photo by AJ Grutsch.