Kent Tamsen, director of technology and operations for Winfield USD 465, has announced his retirement effective at the end of this school year.
Tamsen began working with the school district in February 2016. In his multifaceted role as director of technology and operations, he has managed the departments of technology, maintenance and grounds, transportation, and food services.
He also has overseen district safety, nursing and library services. Tamsen led efforts to provide ongoing training for staff and administrators, resulting in the annual district-wide professional development conference, “Elevate.”
“The retirement of Kent Tamsen will impact our district in many ways. Kent is highly involved in the USD 465 tech development,” said Jennifer Randall, instructional coach at Whittier Elementary. “I had the privilege of working beside him to create an innovative conference for our district called Elevate. He made everyone on the team of many Winfield educators feel appreciated for the knowledge they brought to the district. His kind spirit, work ethic, stories that seamlessly applied to whatever we were working on, and the way he always sang the praises of our district employees will be missed greatly.”
Other highlights during Tamsen’s tenure with USD 465 include advancing technological infrastructure through Google-based applications and other instructional tools, expanding the district’s “1:1” initiative to put technology devices into the hands of every student, and rolling out online and remote learning opportunities.
Former Winfield High School library/media specialist and current Winfield Public Library director Tabitha Hogan commented on Tamsen’s contributions.
“I feel fortunate to have received mentorship from Kent throughout my career,” she said. “His expertise in technology and operations truly benefited Winfield students. Under his direction, the district made leaps in technology adoption and advancement that was centered on student learning. He truly supported teachers to help students by facilitating teacher training and classroom innovation.”
During the pandemic, Tamsen helped the district to navigate the COVID-19 landscape, co-authoring a $900,000 KDHE School Health Services grant to expand health services to USD 465 and collaborating with district nursing staff and community health officials to establish protocols benefitting the well-being and safety of students and staff.
“Kent is an invaluable team member for USD 465 for the health and safety of our students, staff and families. During COVID, Kent was dubbed among the school nurses as the ‘Honorary Nurse,’ as he was on the frontlines throughout the COVID pandemic,” said Felicia Mettling, head of nursing services for the school district.
Tamsen’s ability to interact across departments and with various stakeholders to achieve success is a testament to his collaborative nature and leadership style.
“Having worked with Mr. Kent Tamsen for five years, I can attest that he is the embodiment of a collaborative team member,” USD 465 superintendent Nathan Reed said. “He is willing to step up and help anyone with any challenge. Kent consistently leads his teams in a way that offers guidance and space for members to have input in decision-making. I cannot mention enough high-quality adjectives about him as an educational leader and a person.”
Tamsen retires with several awards from his time with USD 465, including the Friends of Education award from the local chapter of the National Education Association, the Vision Award from the Kansas Association of School Librarians, and a Public Health Champion award from the Cowley County Health Department.
Before joining Winfield Public Schools, Tamsen had accumulated 30 years of experience in the educational and technology sectors. He has been a K-12 teacher, district-level administrator, university professor, staff developer and technology consultant in the corporate and private fields.
Tamsen started his educational career in 1978 in Cowley County.
“After serving in education and educational-related fields in various parts of the U.S., I feel proud to retire in Cowley County as a Winfield Viking,” he said. “The future of USD 465 is bright. I know that the district will continue to provide its best efforts in support of student learning.”
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