Chase County Schools’ new superintendent Randy Klooz and his family will be relocating to Imperial after he was formally hired last week. The family includes, front from left, Jacob, Abby and Emily, back from left, Lori, Randy, Karsen and Mitchell. (Courtesy photo)

New superintendent glad they’ll be closer to ‘home’

    Randy and Lori Klooz had decided they’d like to return to southwest Nebraska at some point in their careers in education.
    That chance arose when the Chase County Schools’ superintendent’s position opened.
    Randy Klooz applied for the job to replace Supt. Joey Lefdal, and was formally hired last Thursday during a special CCS board meeting.
    He was one of five finalists interviewed from more than 20 applicants.
    Klooz is a native of Beaver City and he and his wife have taught in several area schools. He graduated from Beaver City High School in 1989.
    His alma mater has since consolidated into Southern Valley Public Schools.
    Now the PK-12 superintendent at the Laurel-Concord-Coleridge (LCC) School District, Klooz has been in school administration for  17 years.
    But, southwest Nebraska is considered “home,” Klooz said in a phone interview this week.
    “We’ve looked at several districts in that area. We earmarked a few and CCS was one of them,” he said Monday.
    Both he and Lori have always looked at Chase County as a school providing quality education, he said.
    “And, people were always friendly in Imperial when we’d go there. It was one of the areas, if the chance came up, we’d like to go,” he said.
    “And, it seemed like a good match professionally,” he added.
    “We’ve enjoyed northeast Nebraska, too, but it will be nice to be closer to home to reconnect with friends and family,” he said.
    His wife is a Hordville native (near Central City), but her parents now live in Smith Center, Kan. Her husband’s position here will move them closer to her family, too.
Goals in place
    When moving to a new school, Klooz said he believes taking some time to evaluate situations is important, and results in better outcomes.
    He said he has a superintendent entry plan that includes a lot of input from the board, staff and community.
    He plans to talk individually with several people from those  groups, also asking them to fill out a questionnaire.
    “I want to see what the interests” in their school are, he said.
    He’ll focus on areas the school and community are doing well in, and those that “need some tweaking,” he said.
    From that, he hopes to work with the board, community leaders and the staff in leading the district and “finding those starting points where we want to work and move forward,” he said.
    He used that concept as superintendent when the Laurel-Concord District consolidated with Coleridge in 2014.
    “It helped them move forward together, and we had a successful consolidation,” he said.
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