Bud West

  • Kohl School was established in the early 1970s as an alternative to traditional educational practices. It has grown and flourished and continues to offer a well-rounded education developing the whole child.

    Examples of what Kohl provides include multi-age classes; reporting student progress to parents of K-6 students in three personal conferences a year; project-based curriculum centered in a yearly theme; many chances for off-site trips to take learning into the community; presentation opportunities with projects, theater, and music; all embedded in school with a small peaceful population of wonderful children.

    A great strength of Kohl is the constancy. A document approved by the SUSD Board of Education in 1972 continues to reflect the goals and everyday educational life at Kohl. Kohl teachers come and stay. They are able to work in an ongoing process of refining their teaching over time. And now Kohl graduates are sending their children to Kohl making a wonderful historical connection between young and younger.

    The backbone of Kohl remains our parents. From the moment parents make the decision to sign up for our lottery; go on to help in classrooms; chaperone field trips; attend parent/teacher conferences; garden; sit on compliance committees; and participate in the Kohl Education Foundation (KEF); parents are an integral part of what makes the total Kohl experience joyous and moving.

    The Kohl Education Foundation was introduced over 20 years ago to fundraise for Kohl. Over the years they have provided money to send kids on Science Trips and many other trips, furniture for our outside spaces, a fund that provides the school money for projects and presentations, all gladly given for every Kohl student to take part in a Kohl Education. Perhaps the most unique feature of the KEF is the Kohl Scholarship. Every year at our big end year Soirée at least two college scholarships are awarded to High School graduating seniors who attended Kohl.

    Over 25 years ago as a Kohl teacher, I and another teacher stole the theme song from a popular TV show and rewrote it. We branded Kohl as the school where, “everybody knows your name,” where we, “let our minds come out and play.”

    And you know what? In 2020 it’s still true.

    Wise words from Bud West, our now retired, former principal, friend, and champion of Kohl School.

    Bud West