Meet Our Superintendent
Mr. Michael S. KuhrtSuperintendent of SchoolsP: 940.235.1001F: 940.235.1365
Welcome to the 2020-2021 School Year
Superintendent Mike Kuhrt describes himself on his Twitter profile this way: “Christ follower, dad of daughters, Wichita Falls ISD superintendent, outdoorsman and fascinated with learning and learners!”
He tweets about cutting-edge education strategies @Kuhrteous and gives kudos to WFISD teams and achievers wherever he observes them.
Five years at WFISD Superintendent Post
Michael Kuhrt became the superintendent for the Wichita Falls ISD five years ago on August 20, 2015 in a unanimous 6-0 vote by the WFISD school 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 one year, he was named interim superintendent after the announced departure of then-Superintendent Dr. John Frossard.
WFISD’s board president at that time, Trey Sralla, joked that Mr. Kuhrt’s first 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.
Successful Bond Project in 2015
Under Mr. Kuhrt’s leadership, WFISD successfully passed a $59.5 million bond on May 9, 2015. The Wichita Falls community gave a resounding “Yes!” to the District’s plan to build a Career Education Center to house 26 career-oriented programs. The CEC opened on time and under budget in 2017. The new $35 million, 123,000 square foot building located on Hatton Road offers 26 career programs, providing students in each program practical career training with state-of-the-art equipment.
This was the District’s first new high school facility in 50 years. Administrators thought it would take five years to reach the student enrollment that the CEC enjoyed during its first year of operation.
The Strength of Wichita Falls
After getting to know the Wichita Falls community, Mr. Kuhrt said it was easy to see where Wichita Falls shines. “We have a ton of parent and community support,” he said. “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. The key is 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.”
Today, 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,” said Mr. Kuhrt. “Personalized learning for so many kids is now possible.”
Under Mr. Kuhrt’s direction, all students in grades 6 to 12 have their own Chromebook to use during the day and at home. In August 2020, WFISD joined a co-op to get a half-price special on 2,800 Chromebooks and 1,800 Verizon-brand MiFi hotspots that will be earmarked for elementary students. The $507,300 purchase will give WFISD full online instruction capability in case COVID-19 flare-ups require the District to pivot into full virtual instruction mode.
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,” he said. “If you’re not excited, the kids are not excited.” Students quickly pick up on a teacher’s vibe, he said.
Four children with just one in WFISD schools now
Mr. Kuhrt is married to Shannon Kuhrt, who is also employed by the District as its assessment director. Mrs. Kuhrt served a one-year term as the 2017 president of the Texas Statewide Network of Assessment Professionals (TSNAP). That was her fifth year in statewide service.
Mr. and Mrs. Kuhrt are the parents of four daughters. Three graduated from WFISD schools. Currently, the youngest daughter is a junior in high school.
Superintendent experience in three Texas districts
Mr. Kuhrt was born in League City, Texas, and graduated from Clear Creek High School in 1989. He earned a bachelor’s degree in government at the University of Texas-Austin in 1993, then obtained a master’s degree from the University of Texas-Arlington. He worked as a middle school principal in Giddings, Texas, from 1998 through 2001, then was accepted into the cooperative superintendent program at UT-Austin in 2001. He completed the program with more than 55 post-graduate hours in educational administration. He served as superintendent in Dayton ISD and Giddings ISD before coming to Wichita Falls.