GOSHEN COUNTY – With two of three superintendent candidate interviews under its belt, Goshen County School District No. 1 is one step closer to hiring a new leader. As part of the process, which also includes school tours and staff and administrator interviews, Dennis Fischer of Wheatland – superintendent of the Platte County School District No. 1 since 2012 – was the subject of a public forum Tuesday evening at Torrington Middle School.
“Self-discipline is really what (students) need to be successful in school,” Fischer said, adding PCSD No. 1 emphasizes the importance of self-discipline with parents and students.
In response to questions regarding special-education students, Fischer said Platte County has an approximate 14-percent special-education population, and the district uses screening tests to identify weaknesses and build intervention into the classroom schedule.
“(Response to Intervention) has been a huge part of what we’re trying to do to give … our special-education students the opportunities and skills to achieve,” he said, later stating, “we really try to customize and individualize our education plans … our goal is to get them caught up.”
Fischer also gave several examples of community collaboration and partnerships in his current position, including a second entrée program, in which local ranchers provide students with Wyoming beef in addition to their regular school lunch; incorporating the Missouri Basin Power Plant into related industrial classes to foster connections; and described his district as “heavily involved with Eastern Wyoming College.”
On the topic of mental health, Fischer spoke of the significance of early intervention and individual counseling.
“We love it out here in southeast Wyoming and certainly hope to stay,” he said, thanking the crowd for attending the public forum and showing an interest in students’ education.
“When I walked around to all of the buildings … it was really fun,” he said of his tour of Goshen County schools. “There (is) a really strong culture of positivity here.”
Fischer completed the Educational Specialist program at St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis, Minn. and has a master’s degree in Educational Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Prior to moving to Wheatland, Fischer served as superintendent for Pine City Public Schools in Pine City, Minn., from 2009 to 2012.
The public forum for the remaining candidate, Ryan Kramer of Hawarden, Iowa, was scheduled for Thursday, March 28, 6 to 7 p.m., in the Torrington High School Library.
For additional details, visit the Goshen County School District website at goshen1.org.