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West Newsmagazine 4-11-18

Local news, local politics and community events for West St. Louis County Missouri.

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FACEBOOK.COM/WESTNEWSMAGAZINE WESTNEWSMAGAZINE.COM April 11, 2018 WEST NEWSMAGAZINE I OPINION I 3 RANDOM THOUGHTS A Community Conversation CELEBRATING 150 Years OF SERVICE EST. 1868 This week, West Newsmagazine talks with Dr. Eric Knost, superintendent of the Rockwood School District. A native Missourian, Dr. Knost has more than 30 years’ experience in public education and has served as the district’s superintendent since 2014. Among previous roles, Dr. Knost served as an assistant principal in the Parkway School District and shared his love of music with Rockwood students while serving as an administrative intern and band director. In his spare time, Dr. Knost still enjoys playing music and spending time with his wife, Julie, and two daughters, Kaylin and Amy. Why did you decide to do the work you are doing now? I’ve been out of high school for 35 years, and if you would have asked me 35 years ago, ‘Did you think you’d ever be a superintendent?’ I’m sure I would have found great humor in that. Or even in being a principal. I’m an avid music lover and very much, still to this day, a musician. I still play professionally. It really revolved around my love of music, I was inspired by a music teacher I had and it caused me to want to teach. When you love something, you often want to find enjoyment in giving back to the very thing that you love, so teaching made a lot of sense to me while I was pursuing my job as a performing musician. Along the way, I took education courses and, after I got my degree, it just so happened that all I had to do was studentteach and then, I could get the credentials to be a teacher. Things just kind of laid out naturally for me because I’ve always been interested in leading things and leading people. Mentors that I would really, really admire would make suggestions to me, and before long I was interning as an administrator, followed by being an assistant principal, followed by a principal, followed by a central office person, then a deputy superintendent and then a superintendent. As a child, what did you think would be awesome about being an adult that isn’t as awesome as you thought it would be? It’s a little generic, but when I was a kid, I admired the idea of being an adult and all the ability to make decisions on your own. What I thought would be awesome would be not being a kid anymore. Yet, as an adult, all of my inspiration in my 30-year career comes from kids, and just Dr. Eric Knost with Rockwood School District students. (Photo courtesy of RSD) how genuine kids are and how real they are, and how passionate about their own lives they are ... As an adult, I think kids are the most awesome things making up our world, and I think kids have more of the answers than the world allows us to believe, and all my inspiration comes from young people in our world. It’s just a flip-flop thing. As a kid, I thought it would be the coolest thing to be an adult. As an adult, I don’t see anything cooler than our youth. If you were given $5 million dollars to open a small museum, what kind of museum would you create? This may be an obvious answer, but I think it would be a museum of fine arts or a museum of the cultural arts. Anything just really exploring the arts in depth. We have that, kind of, in pockets. I love the art museum, but something that would just thoroughly define the richness of all the arts and all the cultures associated with arts or the cultures where the arts came from. I personally could spend weeks in a place like that and probably still not get my fill. I think that’s what I’d do with my $5 million. What is the best thing to happen to you this week? There have been many things, but I’d just have to say probably the best thing was I was able to spend time with both my daughters at the same time. They’re both in college and doing their own thing, and neither of them lives at home. It’s a real treat when I have both of them together at the same time with my wife and me. That’s definitely given me a lot of motivation for having a great week and then, everything else is just enhanced that much more. [Editor’s note: For a more complete conversation with Dr. Knost, visit Random Thoughts online at westnewsmagazine.com.] Over the past 150 years, Schrader Funeral Home has made community service, professional integrity, and high ethical standards a tradition. www.schrader.com WEST COUNTY 14960 Manchester Rd. at Holloway Ballwin, MO 63011 (636) 227-5511 EUREKA 108 North Central Ave. Eureka, MO 63025 (636) 938-3000