The more things change, the more they stay the same. That’s an old saying that often proves true in life, and it holds a lot of truth regarding Scott Klavetter, the new superintendent at Kingsland Schools in Spring Valley. Following the retirement of Superintendent Jim Hecimovich, Klavetter was named to fill that vacancy. But Klavetter isn’t new to Kingsland, and he intends to continue the progress and direction that Kingsland saw under Hecimovich’s leadership.
When asked about his personal and professional background, Klavetter said, “I grew up in Plainview, just up the road here. I went to Winona State for Elementary Education and Middle School Math.” Klavetter explained that after receiving his bachelor’s degree from WSU, “I was a teacher for 13 years. I taught 5th grade up in Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted for three years, then had an opportunity to move back home. I then taught 10 years at Plainview-Elgin-Millville, where I taught 6th grade. That was my teaching experience. Then I came to Kingsland in the summer of 2017. So I’ve been here at Kingsland as the elementary Principal since 2017.”
When asked about the transition from teacher to principal to superintendnet, Klavetter replied, “I’ve been very fortunate, and frankly, very appreciative of the support I’ve had during my time here at Kingsland, as a Principal and through this transition.” Klavetter said that he learned a lot from Jim Hecimovich, as they worked closely together while Hecimovich was superintendent. He added, “It certainly helps to know that you’ve got people in your corner, and you know where to go for help.”
Klavetter said one of his favorite things about becoming superintendent is the opportunity to see a “bigger picture” perspective on the operations of Kingsland School District. And despite all of the support and learning, Klavetter said that every day presents new and interesting challenges. When asked how he feels his tenure as superintendent is going, he replied, “In a nutshell, good. There’s a transition, there’s a learning curve. But I’m a bit of an adrenalin junkie. I really do enjoy learning new things. So kind of getting thrown into it, that is a lot of fun for me.”
In describing his personal life, Klavetter shared, “On the personal side, my wife and I have three kids that are all preschool and elementary age.” He said he’s always kept family as his top priority, saying, “My favorite job and my most important job is that of Dad.” Klavetter said he’s shared that perspective with his teaching staff at Kingsland, in an effort to foster a healthy work and life balance.
When asked about hobbies, Klavetter laughed as he replied that he doesn’t have a lot of time for hobbies, but admitted, “I like to work with my hands, especially doing yardwork outside… I spent a lot of time growing up out on my grandparents’ dairy farms, so I have that background.”
Klavetter also admitted a fondness for sports, adding, “I did coach when I was a teacher (baseball and wrestling).” He also enjoys watching baseball, and stated, “I’ve been to almost half of the stadiums in Major League Baseball, around the country.” He said his long-term goal is to attend a game in each of the MLB stadiums.
In describing his philosophy and goals for Kingsland, Klavetter talked proudly of the CIS program (College in Schools) and Kingsland’s trades curricula. He said Kingsland looks to help college-bound students earn college credits at an affordable price through CIS, and he said Kingsland has worked to add a diverse array of trades education for students who choose not to immediately pursue college.
Besides the new superintendent, Kingsland also welcomed other administrative staff for this school year. Deana Dontje was hired as principal for grades 5-12, and Erin Milz was promoted to a newly created position as Dean of Students. But the goals of Kingsland, and Klavetter, are nothing radical or new. So it really is true… the more things change, the more they stay the same.