Kyle Hoff has called a lot of places home over the years. He was born in New York, raised in Iowa and went to college in Minnesota. He eventually earned a teaching degree and spent time in a classroom at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago which served a diverse student population, including children from the Cabrini-Green public housing development.
“It was a really cool experience, but I decided to do something else,” he says.
While Hoff isn’t a teacher today – he works as a supply chain analyst – he remains interested in education. As the father of children enrolled in Lowell Area Schools, he is concerned about social or political agendas creeping into the classroom as well as “fallout from COVID.”
Those concerns helped motivate him to throw his hat into the ring for a position on the LAS Board of Education, and Hoff is one of eight candidates – two incumbents and six challengers – vying for three seats on the school board in the upcoming general election in November.
Making a Home in Lowell
Hoff met his wife in Minnesota, and the two moved to Michigan in 2008. While residents of Rockford, they began attending Impact Church and made friends in Lowell. That helped prompt them to move to the community four years ago.
The 44-year-old is now part of the music ministry at Impact Church and has volunteered for the church’s annual Love Week community service projects. He has also helped coach his son’s baseball team and keeps busy shuttling his kids to their various sports and other activities.
Of Hoff’s six children, two have already graduated from high school and four are enrolled in LAS at the elementary and middle school levels.
“We’ve chosen to send our kids here,” Hoff says. “We had other options.”
Overall, his kids have enjoyed their time at LAS, and Hoff says that there is a lot of good happening in the Lowell school district. But there are also “some things that I might change.”
Concerned About Social Agendas in the Classroom
One of Hoff’s goals if elected is to ensure that the school “not burden” students with any social or political agendas.
“Lowell hasn’t had as much of that as other schools nationwide,” Hoff notes, “[but] I do feel like it is present and making an appearance in Lowell.”
While Hoff doesn’t specify what those social and political agendas are in his campaign materials, he does emphasize that recovering from learning loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic should be a priority.
“There are some kids who essentially didn’t go to school for a whole year,” he says.
Hoff notes the district had a large enrollment in summer school programs this year, and that money from the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) was used to pay for summer teachers. “I think that was a good use of that money,” he says.
With some groups promoting the possibility of vouchers for private schools, Hoff says it’s crucial to make Lowell schools as good as possible to ensure people will still utilize the public school system should that happen. Even more important, the ultimate goal of the district needs to be preparing students for life after school.
Commitment to Transparency
Hoff says his motivation for running for school board is to ensure quality education is offered in the district. “I want to create the best possible education experience for [students],” he says.
What’s more, he’d like to increase transparency around school board decisions, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic was a wake-up call in terms of board actions.
“Before the last couple years, no one paid attention to the school board,” he explains. It wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic occurred that people began to realize how much school board decisions can affect a family’s life.
According to Hoff, he works well with others, can build bridges and wants to listen to all sides when it comes to making decisions. Coupled with his teaching and corporate background, he says he is well-qualified for a position on the LAS Board of Education.
“I will work for and answer to parents and students,” he says, noting that those groups are “the boss.”
For more information about Kyle Hoff, visit his campaign Facebook page.