Schnoes to replace Kettelhut as ESU No. 3 administrator

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Posted: Friday, May 9, 2014 12:00 am

Educational Service Unit No. 3 is going to see new leadership starting this summer.

Gil Kettelhut is stepping down as administrator of ESU No. 3 in June.

ESU No. 3 is a political subdivision providing educational resources, including programs and technology services, and support for 18 area school districts in four counties, including Bellevue Public Schools, Gretna Public Schools, Papillion-La Vista School District and Springfield Platteview Community Schools.

Kettelhut will be replaced by Dan Schnoes, superintendent of Douglas County West Community Schools. Schnoes has been superintendent at DC West for two years.

“I’ve always has a strong interest in staff development and technology and all the services that ESUs provide across the state of Nebraska,” Schnoes said. “I always thought this would be a very unique opportunity to work with a lot of good superintendents and school districts. I took a chance and threw my name in the hat. I feel privileged to be selected.”

Kettelhut has been the unit’s administrator since 1997. Before that, he served as superintendent for Valley Public Schools, now a part of Douglas County West Community Schools with Waterloo.

“It’s just time,” Kettelhut said. “The unit is in great shape.”

Over the next two years, the unit will go through an accreditation process that will lead to a new strategic plan.

“This will be a perfect time for a new person to go through the process so that he or she knows firsthand what’s going to be occurring,” Kettelhut said. “That person should be in on the ground level.”

Schnoes has experience with accreditation processes having undergone one while at DC West and another while serving as a principal in Yutan Public Schools. One of Kettelhut’s main goals when he joined the unit in 1997 was to make sure school districts were the unit’s main priority.

“One thing I told the staff when I got here in ‘97 was that our school districts come first — under all situations, our school districts come first,” Kettelhut said. “That’s why we’re here.”

School districts in the unit work together in a cooperative manner.

“We had to figure out a way to serve the smaller schools and the larger schools in efficient, effective processes,” Kettelhut said. “I’m proud of the fact that our school districts work together so well.”

Between the unit’s board and staff, and the accreditation process, Kettelhut said he thinks the board will only get stronger in the future.

“I see nothing but better things happening for the unit,” Kettelhut said.

Schnoes’ first goal is to meet the staff and find out how programs are running.

“If they have suggestions, I want to hear what they have to say,” Schnoes said. “I want to get to know them and work together as a team to make ESU 3 step it up a notch, if that’s even possible.”

The board of ESU No. 3 unanimously selected Schnoes as the replacement administrator.

“Dan has been very professional, very thoughtful,” Kettelhut said. “The board had good, quality candidates, but in the end, they selected Dan Schnoes. I think it’s going to be excellent.”

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