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59c95e42cb793 Belle Grafel sits down with Dr. Pitsch for an interview. Photo by Jean Soderlund.
Belle Grafel sits down with Dr. Pitsch for an interview. Photo by Jean Soderlund.

New superintendent enjoys first month

DCHS Journalism

Isabel Grafel

September 25, 2017

A new school year always brings new changes, and this year it brought a new superintendent to Decatur Community High School.

 

Dr. Troy Pitsch was raised in rural Kansas and has always wanted to come back. While he has spent the last part of his life in Texas, he said he has an emotional connection to Kansas. “I grew up in the value system that is rural Kansas,” said Dr. Pitsch. “It is very unique. You can’t find that anywhere. There is just something special about rural Kansas.”

 

Dr. Pitsch said he chose Oberlin because he wanted to come back to Kansas, but also because of the position he was offered. “I like the position in that I get to be a superintendent, which is new for me, but the other component that was huge was that I still get to lead a campus. I really enjoy working at the campus level,” he said.  

He also said he likes leading teachers and working with students. “I get to keep doing what I really love to do and learn something new. To me it was really a no brainer,” he said.

 

According to Dr. Pitsch, Oberlin is a much slower paced than Austin. “I went down there with a specific purpose, which was to get my doctorate, but I never left my love for Kansas behind,” he said.

 

Although there are not as many services available here, the people are nicer and things cost less. “Everybody who passes you on the street waves. It’s great. It’s very nice. It’s nice to be in a community where everybody cares about each other,” he said.

 

Dr. Pitsch said the biggest difference between Oberlin and his former school is the size; his previous school district had 27,000 kids in it. “The trade off is people are more personable here,” he said.

 

Dr. Pitsch said he wants the district to become a good consumer of student data because he thinks it could add a lot to the district. “I think all the components are here in this district. We have great staff. Mr. Jimenez is a strong principal. I’ve got great teachers at the grade school and a great support staff,” he said. He said he would also like the schools to work more closely together so that students can easily transition from one school to the next.

 

The first month of school, according to Dr. Pitsch, has been great. “It’s been just a learning experience for me - learning my way around the buildings and learning the kids--what they’re strong at and what they’re needing growth in,” he said.

 

His biggest challenge has been finding contractors to do things such as replace doors and windows. “When I need doors replaced or windows fixed, I have to wait in line or look and look and look to find someone to do that,” he said.

 

Dr. Pitsch said he is not sure where exactly he plans to go with his new title of superintendent, but he plans to stay in Oberlin for a while. “We haven’t decided if this is going to be our forever home or if it’s one stop along the way to the end game. But I can say in five to seven years, I plan to still be here,” he said.

 

Dr. Pitsch lives in Oberlin with his wife and their pets. He enjoys fishing when he gets the chance, but also spending time with his wife. “We spend a lot of downtime just enjoying each other’s company,” he said.

 

Before Dr. Pitsch was a principal and a superintendent, he taught United States and Texas history to middle school students.

           

 

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