Mr. Michael S. Kuhrt
Superintendent of Schools
Mike Kuhrt Takes WFISD Superintendent Post
First year in district is “baptism by flood”
Michael Kuhrt became the superintendent for the Wichita Falls ISD on August 20, 2015 in a unanimous 6-0 vote by the Wichita Falls ISD board.
Mr. Kuhrt was already a familiar face around the district at that point. He had arrived in Wichita Falls one year earlier, in August 2014, to serve as associate superintendent. But within a year, he was named interim superintendent after the announced departure of then-Superintendent Dr. John Frossard.
Board President Trey Sralla joked that Mr. Kuhrt’s freshman year in the district turned out to be a “baptism by fire,” since board members were able to observe his leadership style while he served under Dr. Frossard, then as he took the reins as interim superintendent.
“Baptism by flood,” corrected Mr. Kuhrt. He alluded to the May deluge of rain that mercifully ended the city’s four-year drought but caused flooding in Wichita Falls that threatened one of the district’s campuses.
When he came to Wichita Falls, Mr. Kuhrt had already logged nine years experience as superintendent in two Texas school districts: Dayton ISD and Giddings ISD.
He likes Twitter
Mr. Kuhrt describes himself on this Twitter profile this way: “Christ follower, husband, father, school administrator, outdoorsman and fascinated with learning and learners!”
True to his profile, he tweets enthusiastically about cutting-edge education strategies along with kudos to WFISD teams and achievers wherever he observes them on the district’s campuses and playing fields – and at all hours of the day and evening.
His passion for learners is reflected in the advice he has given throughout his education career.
The Mike Kuhrt mantra
“If you try your best, I think you’ll be happy with the results,” he likes to say. He believes in enthusiastic learning, which starts with an enthusiastic instructor, he said.
“If it’s an environment where we’re pumped up and excited, learning happens. If you’re not excited, the kids are not excited,” he said. Students quickly pick up on a teacher’s vibe, he said.
Mr. Kuhrt is married to Shannon Kuhrt, who is also employed by the district as its assessment coordinator. They are the parents of four daughters who attend WFISD schools.
Where Wichita Falls shines
After spending his first nine months in Wichita Falls, Mr. Kuhrt said it is easy to see where Wichita Falls shines. “We have a ton of parent and community support. Partners in Education, the business community, the PTAs – that’s the best part. There are so many people willing to help and pitch in and help in any way they can.”
Personally, he’s excited about how education is branching out to serve every learner in new ways through instructional technology.
“Our kids are ready to go so much further than we’re letting them go right now,” he said. “We need to put them into opportunities where they can just soar. Then we manage the soaring. That’s easier than motivating them to learn.”
Technology can help teachers do what’s never been done so well before: customize learning. “There are so many different ways to customize learning for kids that we’ve never had before in the history of learning,” he said. “Personalized learning for so many kids is now possible.”
The May 9, 2015 success of the district’s $59.5 million bond triggered a new way of construction that is ongoing under Mr. Kuhrt’s leadership.
Mr. Kuhrt spent his first year working extensively on technology improvements and curriculum needs. He also helped in the passage of the May 9 school bond.
As superintendent, he is also overseeing the construction of a new Career and Technical Education Center, along with the 25 programs that will fill it.
Even though his Twitter profile describes Mr. Kuhrt as an avid outdoorsman, he concedes there’s no time now for fishing or camping. The demands of his new administrative role along with family activities fill his schedule to overflowing.
SKEAM drives his personal life
So what’s his favorite thing to do on the weekend to relax? “SKEAM,” he said, a broad smile creeping across his face. “Whatever SKEAM is doing.”
“Shannon-Kaylee-Emma-Aubrie-Maysen – SKEAM,” he said. “I love to hunt and fish, but with SKEAM and all their activities, there’s always somewhere to go. There are so many things going on. I’ll become a scratch golfer when I retire.”