For the 2017-18 school year, KIPP Sunshine Peak Academy welcomed Michael Kreger as its new school leader. Mr. Kreger has been part of the KIPP Colorado Team & Family for five years, first as an 8th grade reading teacher at KSPA, then as the founding assistant principal at KIPP Northeast Denver Leadership Academy. Ascending to the school leader role at KSPA brings Mr. Kreger right back to where he wants to be.
“There are other teachers and staff here that are so highly qualified,” Kreger said. “The fact that I get to be their leader is super humbling to me. The same with our families; our families are so amazing that I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.”
Mr. Kreger has a unique background, having worked in both Far Northeast Denver and Southwest Denver. To him, the KIPP Team & Family is about leveraging relationships across Denver to learn from each other and share school protocols and models.
With his father working in the Navy, Mr. Kreger attended at least 10 different schools during his K-12 education, giving him a sense of the many factors that can help foster a love of learning and student achievement.
“I went to some really great schools and also to some schools where I really struggled,” he said, “that’s something that shapes the way I look at things when creating policies and building a school that seeks to create an environment where students can be successful.”
Mr. Kreger’s priorities this year are to strengthen community and family engagement by helping to build KIPP Sunshine Peak’s Family Association. He also hopes KSPA can host community-run events once every trimester.
“If we can get that right this year, we will be rooted in greatness,” Mr. Kreger said.
Additionally, KSPA engages students beyond the classroom with enrichment programs offering everything from drones to guitar to screen printing. Mr. Kreger sees these programs as a tool not only to honor diversity and the shared experience of the students, but also to help students be successful and creative in overcoming challenges in and out of the classroom.
To Mr. Kreger the ideal vision for KSPA is an equitable, inclusive, joyful space with high results, which he believes can be driven by everyone at KSPA—not just the school leader.
Mr. Kreger maintains finds his own joy factor by making sure he has plenty of time to spend with students. He monitors 5th grade lunch each day and tries to spend as much time in classrooms as he can.
“I’ve never had a job that feels so rewarding,” he said.