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New USC superintendent ready to start

By Staff | Mar 27, 2016

Now that United South Central has gone through hiring its new superintendent, Keith Fleming, a new process begins for the district getting to know their new superintendent.

And now, everyone is asking who is the new guy?

Keith Fleming was born and raised in Owatonna on a small, traditional farm with both crops and livestock. Fleming says he spent his summers bailing hay, detassling corn, and helping neighbors nearby, as well.

He graduated from Owatonna High School and was on both the wrestling and cross country teams.

Fleming attended Drake University as an undergraduate and also received his masters in Public Administration from Drake, as well. Then, Fleming took a job in juvenile corrections as a youth counselor and says this is where his calling was found.

During daughter Courtney’s special day last November, the Flemings pose for a family photo. From left to right, Courtney’s husband Kyle, daughter Courtney, Kelly and Keith Fleming, their second daughter Kelsey, and her partner Tim.

“I realized, when working in juvenile corrections in the Austin area, that I had a real knack for relating and talking to young people,” says Flemming.

He was told by other co-workers and friends that the knack was evident when communicating with his students.

So, when an opportunity opened to work in administration at Austin High School, Fleming took the opportunity to get certified for the position of Dean of Students at Austin.

Fleming received both his K-12 and superintendent certification from Winona State University, and worked in Austin for nine years as a youth counselor and three years as an area learning center principal.

His last 11 years have been devoted to Southland Middle School and High School, in Adams, Minnesota where Fleming serves as principal.

“I think there are a lot of similarities between Southland and United South Central,” says Fleming. “Both schools are comprised of smaller towns within the district, and we are both home of the Rebels.”

That is correct, both USC and Southland share the same mascot, which is not a bad thing for Fleming.

“I am proud to be a Rebel currently, and am eager to become a USC Rebel,” says Fleming.

Outside of his career, Fleming keeps very busy. He and his wife, Kelly, admit to being bitten by the travel bug, and love to do just that. They have even planned a trip to Europe before coming to USC.

“We plan to visit England, Venice and Barcelona,” he says.

He is also an avid Minnesota sports fan. Whether it is the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins, Timberwolves, or Wild, Fleming says he loves all of it.

“I do enjoy sports, and so I am eager to see USC play their sports and engage in their activities next year,” says Fleming.

Besides sports and traveling, Fleming says he enjoys remodeling houses with his friends.

“Whether its Sheet Rock, or wiring, or plumbing, we enjoy fixing up houses,” he says.

The Flemings have two daughters. Their oldest daughter Courtney currently resides in Burnsville and works as a human resources generalist for UTC Aerospace Systems, while their younger daughter Kelsey is in her second year of teaching elementary school music for the Shakopee School District. He shares that both daughters are excited for the family’s new opportunity.

As the community continues to get to know their new superintendent, he, in turn, is eager to get to know the new school district.

Being able to sit in on USC’s school board meeting on March 15 showed Fleming that the board is a good team to work with.

“From what I saw, it looks like any other school board, and these board members seem to get along and get things accomplished, which is a great asset,” says Fleming.

Most importantly for Fleming though, he is eager to get things started. He expressed his excitement about working at USC.

He says USC is at the cutting edge of education with its new facilities and practices like the iLearn program, among many others, and feels this is not only an asset to the students, but the community and School District as a whole.

“I want our communities to know that I am very eager to not only begin as the superintendent at USC, but I am eager and ready to contribute in the community, as well,” he said.

Fleming will be mentored through South Central Service Cooperative for the first year or two as the new superintendent, and soon-to-be-retired superintendent Dr. Jerry Jensen said he would assist in whatever way he could as well.

Dr. Jensen’s last day at USC?will be June 30, which means Fleming starts July 1.

In the summer, Fleming will have some time to get to know the district fairly well and he has just one thing to say about the 2016-17 school year at USC.

“I’m ready.”