Brad Bergsma, a member of the Goodland USD 352 Board of Education, serves as KASB President starting January 2022.
Brad Bergsma cites many of the challenges facing rural schools in western Kansas, such as getting and keeping great teachers, providing mental health services for students and more.
But Bergsma, in his fifth year on the Goodland USD 352 school board, acknowledges all Kansas schools face
many of the same challenges.
“I remind people that our small, rural, western Kansas communities, in many ways are almost a thermometer in gauging the wellness of the education system across the state,” he said.
Bergsma said the recent passage of phased-in school funding increases as part of the Gannon lawsuit is welcome after years of state budget strife.
Now schools can better focus on addressing the social and emotional needs of young people, creating career pathways and helping at-risk students.
He said the teacher shortage is getting worse and has expanded into a shortage of administrators too.
“Basically, the pool of employees is shrinking. We try to do our best to grow our own. We have good staff and administrators in Goodland,” he said.
Bergsma is vice president of the Northwest Kansas Technical College. He has coached at many levels, helped institutions across the state (K-20) with curriculum development and technology integration, lived and taught CTE, and been asked to travel across the state and country to share his experiences with other organizations like Leadership Kansas, the Higher Learning Commission and Apple.