From classroom to administration, Ripon education offers benefits
Kevin Kitslaar ’02 was a legacy student. His sister, Jennifer Kitslaar Kahl ’95, attended Ripon College before him.
Both from her experiences and from information he learned on a Ripon College tour, Kitslaar was attracted to the opportunity to make close connections to the professors on a smaller campus.
“I like the smaller community atmosphere at Ripon College,” Kitslaar says. “You can get to know your professors more, and you can have a deeper learning that goes beyond the classroom. All my professors were very supportive, and I was able to reach them easily. I still stay in contact with many of them. At a lot of colleges and universities, you don’t have that.”
Kitslaar majored in educational studies and biology at Ripon College and participated in tennis, swimming and cross country. He holds a master’s degree in educational studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has certification as a principal. He currently is principal at East Troy (Wisconsin) High School.
Prior to his position in East Troy, Wisconsin, he was principal of Fruzen Intermediate School in Beloit, Wisconsin, and principal of Gaston Elementary School in Beloit, Wisconsin, and associate principal in the Elkhorn Area High School District.
“The education I got at Ripon College was exceptional and provided me with an excellent foundation for my teaching career and a foundation for going into my master’s,” Kitslaar says. “Going through the educational studies program, I was able to do observations and on-site visits that allowed me to determine that education was the direction I wanted to go.”
He says education allows him to impact the lives of young students. In the classroom, he interacted with a limited number of students each year. As an administrator, his reach goes further. “I still have connections with kids, but I feel I have a bigger impact will still supporting their education. I’m working with teachers who support kids,” he says.
“I would never change any decision about where I went to school. It provided me with opportunities to continue athletics on a collegiate level. The more I’m in this position and talk with businesses and at conferences around the country, I learn that Ripon College is highly regarded. As a high school administrator, whenever I talk about colleges with students, I always promote Ripon College and the education it provided me. It provides an excellent opportunity educationally for students. It’s a tight-knit community that supports kids. Ripon College is forward-looking, always finding better ways to support the learning of students and upgrading facilities. It was an amazing opportunity for me.”