By Sheena Williams
Killeen Daily Herald
Dr. Robert Muller could have been an accomplished dentist by now.
That was his dream as a young graduate of Oklahoma State University. But instead of assessing the health of growing teeth, he has been nominated to lead an organization dedicated to growing minds.
Muller is the lone finalist for the job of superintendent for the Killeen Independent School District. A waiting period of a few weeks is all that separates him from the position.
The motion to nominate Muller was made Tuesday night by the KISD board of trustees. Joe Maines said that not only experience qualifies Muller, but also his winning personality will do well to serve the staff, community and students of the district.
"Naturally, I think it's a great move," the board's president said. "He has great skills, he's a good leader, he's approachable, very analytical, and he wants to delve into things and find out exactly what the problems are before he tries to get a solution. The two-way communication that he's fostering is a tremendous tool and a great morale builder."
The 7-0 vote by the board in favor of Muller's nomination sparked a round of applause in the meeting room, and Muller couldn't hide his smile.
"I very much appreciate the honor of becoming the finalist for superintendent," Muller said Tuesday. "There is no doubt that this is the highlight of my professional career, and I'm really looking forward to working with the board, the community leadership, skilled administrators and staff that are here in the district and the skilled teachers that we have in the schools. I truly believe that with the community's support, KISD will continue to improve."
Improvement is the only thing Susan Buckley forecasts for the district under Muller's leadership. The principal of Clifton Park Elementary School is impressed with the practical and personal touch Muller exercises when communicating with district staff.
"He puts the principals and the schools first and he listens to the needs of the campuses. He makes informed decisions, he really values input and listens to the concerns and the needs of the teachers," Buckley said. "I certainly think he's a good pick."
With her husband on his fourth deployment and three children attending schools in the district, Tracy Kehrer said KISD has become a second home for her family. She has lived in the area for several years and noted that it's going to take a unique leader to cultivate a unique community.
"With the Fort Hood community, the district has a unique demographic of urban, suburban and rural students – not to mention the military dynamic, as well," said Kehrer. "So it will take a unique personality to juggle that, and he seems to have the people skills to bear all of it."
Tommy Haygood has met Muller on several occasions. The Harker Heights High School choir director was impressed with Muller's efforts in assisting in his students' trip to Italy last summer. The support showed Haygood how important Muller views the performing arts as a part of students' education.
"He is very knowledgeable and very smart and he has always been very interested in supporting the arts," said Haygood. "He was a big help in facilitating our choir trip, and I'm excited about his nomination because the last three superintendents understood the importance of the arts, and I know Dr. Muller is going to continue that tradition."
Contact Sheena Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7553.