Born and raised in Tecumseh, Robert Kinsey 'thrilled' to be named district's superintendent

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star

Robert Kinsey was named the next Tecumseh Public Schools superintendent in a special Board of Education meeting earlier this week and will officially start the new job on July 1.

Kinsey, the district's current assistant superintendent, said he is honored to take on this role and responsibility.

"I am thrilled. This has been a career goal of mine and so I look forward to the opportunity to serve our district in this capacity," Kinsey said.

However, the educator explained he is sad to see Tom Wilsie retire as he has served the district and community well.

"It's been a pleasure and an honor to work with Mr. Wilsie and he's done great things for our district and I look forward to continuing some of those good works that he has started and we've started together."

Robert Kinsey

What to know about Robert Kinsey

Kinsey was born and raised in Tecumseh, attended TPS and graduated from Tecumseh High School in 1995.

"Tecumseh has always held a very special place in my heart. It's really where I've always wanted to be," Kinsey said.

Kinsey attended The University of Oklahoma and earned a bachelor's degree in science education, and he received his master's in leadership education.

"I started teaching in Tecumseh during the 2000-2001 school year. I taught science at the high school. I enjoyed every minute of that," Kinsey said.

He held that position for two years before returning to OU for some post master's work and held a position at the K20 Center for four years.

"During that time I also worked as a youth minister at Highland Church of Christ and so that was a great experience for me," Kinsey said.

He explained he missed education so he went back to Tecumseh as a science teacher at Tecumseh Middle School, became assistant principal at TMS and then TMS principal before becoming the TPS assistant superintendent.

Ever since he tutored students in high school, Kinsey said he knew he wanted to be a teacher.

"I might also say it's kind of part of my DNA. My mom is a lifelong educator and she is retired teacher and she worked in Tecumseh during her career," he said.

Hoping to do 'what's best' for students

For Kinsey, the best aspects of being an educator are helping students learn and seeing that knowledge click.

"I think education changes people's lives and being a small part of that change for a student during their formative years is just something I've liked to be apart of," Kinsey said.

As far as being an administrator, Kinsey explained he loves being a part of the school environment and culture.

"Strong leaders in schools can play a major role in making sure that student learning is going the way it needs to go and is successful," Kinsey said.

While he loves being a teacher and administrator, Kinsey said education is not without its hardships, especially in 2020.

"From thinking about where we were a year ago when we didn't really know much about COVID and how it would it impact us as a community, (to) thinking about the changes we had to adopt to be ready for this year, those were some serious challenges that we faced," Kinsey said.

However, the educator is thankful to be a part of a wonderful team of administrators, teachers, parents, community members, students and stake holders who did all they could to make this school year as successful as possible during a global pandemic.

"There's always a challenge but we solve problems and we do what's best for kids. That's our goal," Kinsey said.

This sentiment is one of two valuable pieces of advice Kinsey said he's received from Wilsie as he prepares to take on his new role.

"I look at Mr. Wilsie as a mentor and when I asked he would always answer questions and offer advice," Kinsey said. "(He said to) make your decisions based on what's best for your students and the second piece is you got have some fun with it."

Going forward, Kinsey said he's excited to work with Tecumseh's teachers, support staff and others in making sure students are best prepared for their futures.

"What I am looking forward to most is just seeing the progression of our district and how we're able to continue to move into that twenty-first century environment we want for our students," Kinsey said.

With Wilsie's retirement, Kinsey will formally begin his position as Tecumseh's next superintendent on July 1.