HOISINGTON — Patrick Crowdis, the new superintendent for Hoisington USD 431, has worked hard at developing a mindset that sees the positive in any situation. That’s been particularly helpful this year. In mid March, he was offered the position in Hoisington, just as schools closed throughout the state for the remainder of the school year due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Crowdis focused on the positive.
“I’m big on developing relationships,” he said. “In a way, the pandemic helped in that all our schedules were slowed down.”
This meant there was time to get to know each of the members of the USD 431 administrative team. He asked them to read John Gordon’s “The Energy Bus” to get a sense of his day-to-day mindset. He’s made time to meet face to face with each of the building administrators, the technology director, the head of maintenance, and more.
In June, the Crowdis family moved from the Spearville area, where he most recently served as an assistant principal at Dodge City High School after serving as the middle school and high school principal at Spearville.
“My wife, Kristi, has some physical handicaps, so wanted to get moved, settled, and have more flexibility in our schedule,” he said. “I needed to be there to help with that transition.”
The Crowdis children, Kynlie, a sophomore, and Grady, in 7th grade, went to weights the Monday after their move. Kynlie has started training for cross country and is also helping to keep score at Hoisington Rec baseball games. The transition has been eased in part because in-laws live in Hoisington and have made some introductions. Hoisington Middle School Principal Pat Reinhardt met Grady and showed him around the school, and Hoisington High School Principal Joel Mason likewise did the same for Kynlie. Looking ahead to the upcoming school year, Crowdis will be leaning on his administrative team as they put forth a plan for how school at USD 431 will look, based on anticipated guidance coming out later this week from the Kansas State Department of Education.
“We may look different than other districts of our size in the state,” he said. “We will develop a specific plan for our district.”
A rough draft of that plan may be presented at the USD 431 Board of Education meeting on Monday, July 13, at 7 p.m. at the District Office. Input from other groups and individuals in the community will be encouraged.
The team will then survey staff, parents and students over the next couple of weeks to determine their comfort level with returning to school. Meanwhile, Crowdis commends the maintenance staff for the effort they’ve put in to make sure the buildings are all clean and sanitized, and how they’ve prepared to keep them that way.
“We will try to have school to the best of our ability,” Crowdis said. “We have great teachers here at Hoisington. I know they will dive right in, just as they did this past spring, and do the best that they can for their students.”