Dr. Paul Kaiser, superintendent of Beech Grove City Schools, to retire March 31
By Nicole Davis
In the 12 years that Dr. Paul Kaiser has served as superintendent of Beech Grove City Schools, the school system has upgraded its facilities and opened a new performing arts center, science academy, athletic fields and will soon complete construction on a new early childhood education center.
Kaiser will retire on March 31 after 41 years as an educator.
“The district is in great shape, financially,” Kaiser said. “I just thought it was the right time. It was time for a change for me. I look forward to new challenges. For the first time, on the 31st, I’ll be unemployed. I’ll find something to do. I will spend more time with my own kids – I have a grandbaby on the way. I live on a lake and I love to fish so now I can pick and choose when I get to fish. I am a person for exercising so I can bike, walk, lift weights, swim. I’ll do something with education. I’m looking to consult, maybe interim superintendent jobs.”
Kaiser said whoever becomes superintendent next, comes into a school district which has laid a foundation of success academically, financially and culturally. Kaiser’s leadership has always been of a collaborative nature, with a focus on what’s best for the students and the community in the forefront.
“Working together as a team, we got a lot accomplished,” Kaiser said. “I had a great school board to work with, and, along with that, dedicated, loyal administrators and teachers that always go the extra mile for kids. The district is in excellent fiscal shape, the best it’s been in 20 years, and that’s a big thank you to our community who supports our referendums.”
Kaiser plans to officially attend one last event on April 3. He grew up playing baseball in 1975 in Beech Grove for Jim Hensley, who passed away in 2011. Kaiser will leave the school system after the district’s opening celebration of its new baseball stadium, Jim Hensley Field of Dreams on April 3, 9:30 a.m.
“That’s going 360,” he said. “I hung out in Beech Grove in the 70s and now I’m ending this phase of my career in Beech Grove honoring Jim Hensley, who I have a tremendous amount of respect for.”
He continued, “Beech Grove always touched my heart. I feel like I brought a part of me to Beech Grove and I’m leaving with a part of Beech Grove in my heart. Those around me know, I always say it’s a great day to be a Hornet and I will forever be a Hornet.”
How has Dr. Paul Kaiser’s leadership been impactful?
Dr. Kaiser has been a consistent leader in the Beech Grove community and schools. He leads with honor and dignity and pays attention to the small details. My partnership throughout the years has been influenced by his sincerity and friendly approach to doing business. He consistently looks for a win-win partnership and always has the students and staff of Beech Grove Schools top of mind. I have had the pleasure of hearing his opening remarks to the staff members at the beginning of each school year for several years and the message is consistent each time. He leads with a positive outlook and reminds everyone to enjoy yourself at work and most importantly put the kids first.
-Michelle Crawford and Lindsay Wirtz, Teachers Credit Union
Dr. Paul Kaiser has a penchant for seeing potential in people, programs, and places, building consensus around a vision, generating support, triggering enthusiasm, and facilitating the work to see possibilities brought to life. His actions have demonstrated his commitment to making a positive impact for the community of Beech Grove for generations to come. While he is retiring, reflections of his work and contributions will ripple through BG and generations of future Hornets!
– Mrs. Erin Probus, principal, Hornet Park Elementary.
“I’ve worked under four superintendents. Dr. Kaiser has been the superintendent that has known his staff on a more personal level as well as a professional level and is truly interested in his staff’s wellbeing. … He gets out in the community. He’s dedicated himself to so many referendums, walking the streets, knocking on doors, all for the benefit of our kids. When I was getting my principal’s license, they talked about Dr. Kaiser in some of my classes. He is very well known statewide in the education community for being successful at putting together a referendum for a school district. It’s difficult to go up against the people who are against (a referendum) but he lays a good foundation.”
-Jina Hackman Youngman, assistant principal, Central Elementary
Dr. Kaiser has played a significant role in the development of our school district, especially in the arena of athletics. … I had the pleasure to work with Dr. Kaiser on two separate referendums, but one project that sticks out for me is the “Safe Routes to School” sidewalk project where sidewalks were added at Beech Grove High School, Beech Grove Middle School, South Grove Intermediate School and along Redfern Drive. This program was a really big success and all of those sidewalks get used every single day, so it’s very rewarding.
– Mayor Dennis Buckley, city of Beech Grove
Dr. Kaiser recognizes necessary expertise, and pulls together key resources to accomplish his vision. … To create the Beech Grove agricultural education program in January 2012, Dr. Kaiser held a half-day planning meeting with 24 individuals, with half of the individuals from Beech Grove City Schools and half from business, government, or higher education institutions. Two sub-committees were formed with clear objectives. Dr. Kaiser arranged for key resources including new and remodeled classrooms and hired three agricultural education teachers. In the record-breaking time of five months, key tasks had been accomplished, and classes started in July 2012 with 370 students enrolled in agricultural education classes. The following year, the program grew and a fourth agricultural education teacher was added. In the past 8 and 1/2 years, over 4,000 students have had new opportunities by taking ag education classes and developed leadership skills by being involved in one of the largest FFA programs in the State of Indiana. Regardless of what career students have chosen, they have benefited from the transferrable skills they have developed by being active in the Beech Grove Agricultural Education Program which Dr. Kaiser is considered as the Founder.
-Bruce Bye, president of the Applied Life Science Agricultural Education Advisory Board