Fred Dierksen is the new USD 443 superintendent

Good news came to Fred Dierksen on January 19 when the school board announced him as the USD 443 superintendent of schools.

"Literally, I stood up from my chair, raised my arms in the air and yelled ‘yes!’," said Dierksen. "I am extremely excited and very honored to have been the one selected, it was a current goal of mine and I am thrilled to get the opportunity to fulfill my duties."

Dierksen grew up in Belle Plaine. He has 35 years of experience with public education and currently serves as superintendent of USD 376 Sterling.

Dierksen stated that he looks forward to the diversity of Dodge City Public Schools and working with the community.

"I’m excited about the opportunity to lead one of the states largest districts that has as much diversity as almost any town or city in Kansas," said Dierksen. "Also to be the educational leader working with others that have already witnessed and care greatly about what they’re doing and who they’re doing it for, and that to me is going to be the most exciting thing."

The final decision was made by the school board on January 17 after an executive session. Dierksen was selected out of two other candidates.

"After we finished the third interview, we went back into an executive session and we discussed the different candidates," said board president Lisa Killion. "Then I asked everyone to write down their first pick and pass those into me, and at the first vote we all unanimously picked Fred."

Killion stated that the board felt that Dierksen fit the qualities that the Dodge City community desired in a superintendent.

"First of all, all three candidates were very strong and it was a really difficult choice for the board," said Killion. "We just felt like Fred had more components (from) the public forums that we had prior to the search, he had more of those characteristics of what people said they wanted in a superintendent."

Killion believes that Dierksen will be successful in serving as the USD 443 superintendent.

"I think one of his greatest skills is how he can relate to people," said Killion. "I think he’s going to do a great job at building relationships and helping us all work together better as a district."

There are many other aspects within the district that Dierksen looks forward to as the USD 443 superintendent.

"I’m super excited about all the construction that’s been going on, and of course I’ve had experience in that area and I want to see that through," said Dierksen. "I just love being around the kids, and there’s a lot more of them than where I come from, so I’m excited about that."

Dierksen will begin serving as the USD 443 superintendent effective June 30.