Helmut Schmidt, Published December 24 2010
11 to watch in 2011: Flowers keeps eyes on future of West Fargo
The superintendent of West Fargo’s schools is juggling an array of initiatives key to the continued success of the district.
How he deals with that to-do list has made him one of The Forum’s “People to Watch.”
Among the jobs he must tackle:
- Help create a new strategic plan.
- Guide a task force studying facilities and building needs. The group’s recommendations could lead to another school bond vote.
- Monitor teacher contract talks.
- Monitor legislative action on K-12 education.
- Keep tabs on more than $7 million in construction, including Osgood Kindergarten Center additions and high school renovations.
Oh, and don’t forget day-to-day administration of the district.
“The plate’s pretty full,” Flowers mused.
Flowers wants the next strategic plan to move beyond emphasizing improvements on basic skills, to helping students learn to apply their knowledge in the 21st-century workplace.
“We need to take the district to the next level and take students to the next level,” he said.
That will mean an emphasis on fostering critical and higher-level thinking and individual and collaborative problem-solving, he said.
The new emphasis must be, “What do our students need to know, be and do to be able to be successful in their futures – not our past,” he said.
Flowers was superintendent for the Fargo School District for several years before moving to Kansas to run a school district there.
School Board President Karen Nitzkorski said that since Flowers joined West Fargo, he’s made all the right moves, building trust and support for his vision.
“Dr. Flowers was born to be a superintendent,” she said. “When issues come up, he knows what needs to be done, and he does it. The level of experience, the knowledge of the job, the expertise” are invaluable.
Those qualities will come in handy as West Fargo School District faces the challenges ahead, she said.
“It’s a big job,” she said. “We got the right man in the superintendent’s shoes.”
Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583