Goracke hired to take district’s reins

With the resignation of current Superintendent Dr. Fred Dierksen in February, the USD 376 Board of Education enlisted the help of an organization specializing in hiring superintendents around the state. In March, four candidates came to Sterling for tours, interviews and receptions with faculty and community members.

After the BOE held an executive meeting on March 13, an announcement was made by Dr. Ken Brown, president of the board, that Jim Goracke would step in as the Superintendent of  USD 376 Schools effective July 1.

Goracke is currently the principal of Chanute Elementary School in Chanute, Kan. and brings over 20 years of experience in education to the job.

“The BOE is excited to have Mr. Goracke as the next Superintendent of USD 376, as he brings with him a record of strong academic achievement, leadership, and success during his tenure as Principal of Chanute Elementary School,” Brown said of the decision.

While searching for job openings Goracke found Sterling enticing.

I wanted to be in a district small enough that I could still interact with the kids,” he said. “Sterling is like that, and so that’s one of the reasons I applied for the job.”

Attributes gathered from community members, students and staff were used in the board’s decision to offer the job to Goracke.

“Gathered from the student, faculty, staff, and community forums prior to the interviews, the Board identified several skills and attributes we wished to see in a candidate,” Brown said. “Those included, but were not limited to: strong leadership skills, vision, listening and communication skills, community involvement, recognized academic achievement, strong background in effective budgeting practices, approachability, and motivation. Jim has strong skills in these and many other areas.”

Goracke says that he looks forward to beginning the next chapter of his career in Sterling.

“The friendliness of the people and the staff, and even the kids that were there made it feel very much like home even though we were only there one day,” he said. “It’s a nice and friendly little town and that’s what I’m really ready for.”