New MSA director starts at schoolNew MSA director Bob Kreischer started at school Aug. 1
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
Last summer Bob Kreischer and his wife picked up and moved to Florida for a new adventure, only to find that paradise wasn’t paradise after all.
“We found that it wasn’t easy to get a job,” he said.
So Kreischer, an educator since the 1970s, decided to head back to Minnesota where there was a perfect opportunity waiting for him – executive director of the Minnesota Math and Science Academy.
“I liked MSA because it was a charter school and it had a really great reputation,” he said. “It had been around for quite a while, it wasn’t something that was a start up.”
The MSA Board of Directors selected Kreischer to be the school’s new executive director last month.
“We had several very good candidates to choose from,” said Cheri Howe, MSA Board of Directors president. “We chose Bob because of his extensive experience with charter schools – Mr. Kreischer was really the top choice.”
The Centerville resident starts in his position as executive director on Wednesday, Aug. 1.
An experienced educator
Kreischer first became interested in becoming an educator when he was in seminary school in California.
During his time there he took a few generic education courses and ultimately found his calling.
“It was at that point that I got really interested in education,” he said. “I didn’t see myself as being a minister after I had gone through all the course work.
“There were things I really liked about education so I just decided that I would pursue it further.“
After completing his schooling to earn an education degree Kreischer began working as a teacher, an assistant principal and ultimately a principal in California for a total of three years.
“The thing I enjoy most about education is the kids,” Kreischer said, “and working with the kids.
“I’ve always enjoyed being with kids.”
Kreischer and his family eventually made their way back to Minnesota, where he completed his undergraduate schooling at Macalester College in St. Paul.
Kreischer worked as a teacher and principal at Breck School in Golden Valley for three years before taking on something completely new to him.
“I always wanted to start my own school,” he said.
In 1982 Kreischer started an independent school, which would become Mounds Park Academy in St. Paul.
The school started with 104 students and has grown to house nearly 650 students.
“In the early years of the school I got to do it all,” Kreischer said. “I got to vacuum the hallways and cut the grass – you did whatever you needed to.”
Kreischer stayed with Mounds Park Academy as executive director for 20 years before bouncing from charter school to charter school over the years including Nova Classical Academy, New Spirit School and St. Croix Preparatory Academy.
“There was one school after another that needed my help,” he said.
Kreischer said he enjoys working at charter schools because of the flexibility.
“Charter schools can almost be like an independent school, but it’s a public school,” he said. “You’re able to be innovative at charter schools.”
A new face
Kreischer said he was drawn to the position at MSA because of the school’s strong reputation and the opportunity to continue working at a charter school.
Kreischer said he doesn’t have any immediate plans for MSA – he simply wants to get to know the school and hear what works, what doesn’t and where changes could be made.
“I’m not here to make any really big changes,” he said. “The school is already very successful, so why would you change something that works?”
However, Kreischer said one area that he might consider looking at is strengthening MSA’s fine arts curriculum.
“I would expect the school to continue to be a fabulous math and science school, but I don’t think the school is just known for that,” he said. “The fine arts are important because those are the things that make a well-rounded student.
“I wouldn’t want that to be lost. And who knows? Maybe that’s the kind of thing that can be enhanced a little bit.”
Howe said the MSA Board of Directors is confident in Kreischer’s ability to help lead the school during this time of transition.
“We would like him to maintain an even keel in this time of change,” she said. “We want Bob to join us and continue with us.
“We are looking for his expertise to guide us and continue to make us a great school.”