Staloch chosen as new Blooming Prairie superintendent

Published 7:59 am Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A familiar face will be taking the lead for Blooming Prairie Public Schools starting next school year.

Chris Staloch

Chris Staloch, Blooming Prairie Elementary School principal, was chosen as the next superintendent starting on July 1. Staloch will succeed Barry Olson, who will be retiring from his current post as superintendent at the end of the school year. The interview process took place almost two weeks ago, and Staloch was notified of his pending appointment last Thursday night.

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“I’m very excited for the opportunity,” he said. “I’ve always been in Blooming Prairie and I’m excited for the next opportunity to be the next superintendent. I think one of the most important things is to always work hard to be a collaborative leader, as well as listening to all our stakeholders. I want to make sure all voices are heard and that we’re all on the same page.”

Blooming Prairie is very familiar for Staloch, who has served 20 years in the district with more than a decade’s worth of experience in the classroom as a first and fourth grade teacher. For the last eight years, Staloch had served as the elementary school principal having worked his way up into an administrative role.

The plan to become a superintendent  wasn’t always in forefront of his plans, rather continuing to help students evolved into other areas of education aside from direct interaction in the classroom.

“I think when I first started teaching, I was excited to have the opportunity to serve as head baseball coach, and I coached boys basketball,” he said. “As I went through the years, I wanted to be more involved at a different level, and I really got excited to be involved in committees and learning about the school as a whole, which led to me becoming the elementary school principal. I learned from that opportunity and I really enjoyed the Blooming Prairie community and I wanted to give back. Being superintendent was the next step and another opportunity to serve.”

Blossoming in Blooming Prairie

A teacher who stays in one district for a significant amount of time let alone for two decades is a positive reflection of the district, so having fallen in love with Blooming Prairie, Staloch found himself growing roots in town.

“I would say that’s definitely different,” he said. “Not everybody stays in one place, and teachers sometimes move around a bit. I’m very fortunate to start here and to spend a lot of time here and I hope to be here for quite some time.”

Education for Staloch had always stemmed from his love for working with children. He took that love to his coaching of students as varsity baseball coach for 12 years, as well as basketball and middle school football.

“I really enjoy working with kids,” Staloch said. “In our profession, you have to enjoy helping people out and helping kids succeed. I’ve been able to do that, and I want to keep doing that.”

Being out of the classroom for eight years, Staloch had the challenge of continuing to establish connections with his students. As a principal, he felt that he had accomplished that. Now as superintendent, he strives to continue building relationships now being further removed from the daily happenings of the classroom.

“It’s kind of like coaching. I do miss coaching and some parts of it,” Staloch said. “It’s making those connections with your teammates, kids you coach, and it’s like the classroom. I think the one thing as principal was that I was still making connections with a lot of our kids, community and parents. I hope to do that at the next level, although it’s more challenging being more removed from day to day things, but I really want to be as involved as I can at that next level.”

While the district will begin the process of finding the next elementary school principal to take Staloch’s place, the new superintendent is ready to get to work and to make the transition.

“I’m excited for the opportunity and it’s gonna be a lot of fun to work with our community, parents and staff,” he said. “We’re gonna work hard to continually improve the education we provide for our students. I feel that it’s really important for leads to be out and about, and be very visible and work with everyone. That’s going to be a challenge, but I will succeed at that challenge.”