Kloppel reflects on 11 years of leadership

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In his eleventh year at CMR, Principle Dick Kloppel aims to focus on decreasing the school’s drop out rate.

Lindsey Buck, Staff Writer

With the 2010-2011 school year just beginning, Stampede reporter Lindsey Buck sat down with Principal Dick Kloppel to discuss his goals and plans for CMR.

Q: How long have you been working at CMR and in what different positions?
 
A: “I’ve worked here as a principal, and this is my eleventh year.”

Q: What impact has working at CMR had on you?
 
A: “I think I have come to appreciate the magnitude of the quality. Not the magnitude and quality, but the magnitude of the quality, of the staff and students that go here; and I’m not just talking about any particular one class. The staff since I’ve been here has probably had a two-thirds turnover, but the students turn over every four years. A quarter of them turn over every year. The quality of kids that come here and the incredible tradition that this high school has and stands for is probably the most impressive thing that I’ve seen here.”

Q: What new changes have been made to the school over the summer?
 
A: “Not nearly as much as in past years. Obviously the staff parking lot was resurfaced this year just like the student lot did last year. Projectors are all hung on second floor. Those are probably the two biggest things.”

Q: What are some goals you have for this school year?

A: “I want to really develop our focus and attention approach to allowing kids to pursue career strands at CMR. I really want to focus on our drop out rate. We have a very low drop out rate, but it’s still too many. I want to address that. I really want to continue to see academic and activity success. We had a banner year last year, and the year before we had a banner year. I want our kids to leave here ready for the year after high school, whether that may be college or a vocational area. I want them to walk out here knowing what they’re going to do and having a good solid plan.”

Q: How do you think the students will react to the new changes around the school?
 
A: “As far as physical changes, they probably aren’t going to notice a lot. As far as the change to allow them to be more focused, and classes more linked, I think they will really like that.”

Q: How are classes more linked this year than last?
 
A: “So you go to English class, and it connects to the Science class you just came out of, which connected to the math class you just came out of, which connects to this elective that you’re in. It’ll do two things. “Why do I have to take this?” They’ll never ask that question, because it’s evident in every class. The other thing is, kids will know what path they do not want to go down. They’ll know that early; they won’t waste two years of college finding it out.

Q: What do you think your greatest accomplishment as principal in the past 11 years has been?
 
A: “There are several things that have been accomplished while I’ve been here. I’m not going to put my thumb on it and say it was mine. Raising and continuing to raise the level of performance of our students when they walk out of here has been something that’s been a major accomplishment. I think the facility, just the physical plant, has improved. Since I’ve been here we’ve put new seats in the auditorium, we have all new curtains, and all of the curtain apparatus is new. We have a new state of the art video productions lab. When I came here there was one computer lab in the building that had 30 computers that had internet access. Every computer today has internet access, wireless internet access. When I came here we had zero college level classes and a limited number of college credit and A.P. courses. We now have 42 job shadows, when you are a junior you will do a job shadow. We didn’t have that when I came here. We have more professional development of staff than any school in the state. I think the development of the programs, the Med Prep program, the link between science and technology, is a huge accomplishment. I think the other thing that I really appreciate is the voice the students have at CMR. The student voice is very, very strong here, and that should be continued.”