Meet Ambassador Kyle: Q & A with Nebraska Loves Public Schools

Meet Ambassador Kyle: Q & A with Nebraska Loves Public Schools

NCSA Ambassador Kyle McGowan

Nebraska Loves Public Schools is dedicated to supporting public education one documentary film at a time. Nebraska Loves Public Schools will work closely with NCSA, its Ambassadors and NPSA to increase the collective coverage of positive public school stories happening throughout the school year.

Nebraska Loves Public Schools asked each of the three Ambassadors to tell us more about their experience in public education and why this role will be so crucial to spreading the success stories of our schools. Here’s what we learned from Ambassador Kyle McGowan. Follow him online @NCSAKyle. For the original story, click here.

NELOVESPS: Tell us a little about yourself. What drew you to education and what keeps drawing you back in?

McGowan: There’s an energy inside and around a school building. It’s exciting to see children of all ages discovering their potential. I also have always had a somewhat “Pollyanna” view of America. I truly believe education is the great equalizer in our nation. Knowledge and work ethic can break those terrible cycles of poverty and hopelessness. I like to think I can do a small part in turning hope into a positive reality. At the very least, I will always give back the positive energy I was fortunate to receive from so many others.

NELOVESPS: Before you became an NCSA Ambassador, what was your role in public education?

McGowan: I have been a Nebraska educator for 35 years. My first position was an elementary teacher. I’ve had almost every role possible as a school administrator, i.e. A.D./ H.S. Assistant Principal, Elementary Assistant Principal, Elementary Principal, Curriculum Director, Assistant Superintendent. I retired as the Crete Public School Superintendent in 2016, after ten years in that role.

NELOVESPS: What are you looking for most as an NCSA Ambassador?

McGowan: Nebraska is full of fantastic public schools. We have top graduation rates, top ACT scores and incredibly positive and safe environments for our students. Unfortunately, like typical Nebraskans, our educators tend to be too modest. What may be considered extraordinary in many states is often the standard for Nebraska schools. I’m looking forward to promoting the great things happening every day across this great state.

WATCH: NELPS worked with Kyle on the films Standing Up to Poverty and Early Childhood Education: A Foundation for Success.

NELOVESPS: What’s the biggest issue facing Nebraska public schools?

McGowan: Nebraska has one of the fastest growing poverty rates, for children, in the nation. The state’s demographics are shifting to a higher percentage of minority students and children with limited English speaking skills. I believe our state can flourish with our new families, who come with a renewed pioneer spirit, if we welcome and provide the support needed to assure a continued world-class education for all. This will require additional services such as early childhood education and other extended opportunities. It’s no time to cut funding for an educational system which already ranks 49th for receiving state monies.

NELOVESPS: What do you wish the average citizen knew about public schools here?

McGowan: I wish all of our citizens were aware of the quality education available to all students from birth through age 21. Students are graduating at record rates with an accountability of high expectations never required in the history of Nebraska schools. Nebraska graduates feed a work force with record low unemployment rates because they’re prepared for careers. Students choosing college are accepted and succeed throughout the nation’s top educational institutions. A work ethic is intertwined within every school community.

NELOVESPS: What’s your hope for the future of public schools in Nebraska?

McGowan: Public schools need to be of high quality in every corner of the State. The State must continue to invest in education and assure that all children have an opportunity to succeed.