New Farmington principal looking toward an exciting future

Principal Jason Berg aims to help teachers realize their vision

Farmington High School Principal Jason Berg talks to members of the girls basketball team he coached in the 2010 season. (Photo by Jim Lindquist – sidekick.smugmug.com)

Farmington High School Principal Jason Berg talks to members of the girls basketball team he coached in the 2010 season. (Photo by Jim Lindquist – sidekick.smugmug.com)

by Jennifer Chick
Sun Thisweek
Dakota County Tribune

As Jason Berg begins his new position as principal for Farmington High School, he will be bringing his career full circle.

Berg began his teaching career in Farmington in the fall of 1993 as a math teacher and head boys basketball coach. He has left Farmington High School and come back several times over the years but what brought him back in December 2012 was Farmington’s plan to purposefully integrate technology and the personalization of education the district is moving toward.

He said the future at the high school is exciting as the school looks to deliver education in a way that hasn’t been done before.

“Personalization has not been done to this scale and it’s hard when people haven’t seen it done this way before,” he said. “We have to continue to do a good job of explaining the why of how we are doing stuff.”

Since December 2012, Berg has been an assistant principal at the high school so stepping into the principal position should not be a tough transition, he said.

“In my mind, it’s not going to look a lot different,” he said.

But as principal, he will be stepping back a bit to take a bigger view of things, he said. He will also continue to do some of things that will allow him to stay connected on a daily basis.

Farmington Area Public Schools announced that they had hired Berg to replace Principal Ben Kusch on April 21.

Kusch resigned to take the position of principal at Shakopee High School. Kusch had been principal since July 2008. He said he was taking the position at Shakopee because that school is facing some of the same decisions and challenges that Farmington had faced in the time Kusch had been there.

“I think my expertise here will serve me well there,” he said. “It’s not very often as an administrator you get to do over what you have already done and apply it there.”

For the past 1 1/2 months, Berg has been working closely with Kusch to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Berg first got his administrative degree in athletic administration, but while he was working for Farmington Area Public Schools as a district math coach, helping other teachers align their classrooms with the math curriculum, he decided to get his specialist degree in school administration.

“The more teachers you are able to help, the more kids you can help besides those in your classroom,” Berg said. “It’s exciting to help people come up with a vision and make that vision a reality.”

He earned his administrator’s license from St. Thomas in August 2010. He earned his bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College.

Berg and his wife, Connie, have two boys in the Farmington school system. Lucas will be in 11th grade next fall, and Kyle will be a seventh-grader.

As his kids participate in activities, Berg said it gives him a unique opportunity to meet parents and students outside of school, something that helps develop better relationships and better communication.

As Berg looks forward to next fall, he intends to make sure both students and parents have a clear idea of where the district is headed in terms of technology and personalization.

He sees an exciting future ahead.

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