Kyllo ‘excited’ to serve as K-M middle school principal
KASSON — Welcoming students back to school this year is a new face.
Erin Kyllo was hired as the new Kasson-Mantorville Middle School principal after the departure of Michelle Krell, who took a position in Owatonna.
The K-M School District began searching for a new principal after Krell resigned April 28. Twenty-five candidates applied for the position, but school officials said it became clear Kyllo would be a perfect fit for the job. They noted her experience at Chaska-Chanhassen School District with personalized learning, her passion for children and education and her commitment to building relationships with staff, students and community members.
“I look forward to the passion she brings to the middle school students and staff in addition to the wealth of knowledge that she will bring to our administrative team,” said K-M Superintendent Mark Matuska. “She is a winner.”
Kyllo has worked in Chandler, Ariz., and Inver Grove Heights since 2000 as a teacher for grades K-12. Additionally, she was a part of different district- and building-level leadership committees, including grading and assessment, Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports and the math and reading vertical team for her district. Kyllo earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Winona State University and her specialist’s degree from the University of St. Thomas.
Recently, Kyllo was the administrative dean for Chanhassen High School. With 18 years of educational experience under her belt, Kyllo’s role as an administrator now gives her full experience with students K-12.
“It has been fascinating to see students learn and grow at all levels,” she said. “I was inspired to take on a leadership role as a principal by a former principal of mine, and I have loved every minute of it. My favorite time of day is still when I am in classrooms watching children learn.”
‘There is nothing more rewarding’
For Kyllo, education always has been a passion.
“I enjoy working with children and can’t imagine doing anything else,” she said. “There is nothing more rewarding to me than knowing I made a difference in the life of a child.”
The Owatonna native has lived in a number of Southeast Minnesota communities, including Blooming Prairie, Kasson and Rochester. Kyllo graduated from John Marshall High School.
“I was drawn to Kasson-Mantorville because of the district’s reputation for excellence and the support from the community,” she said. “Everyone I met has been so supportive and helpful. I feel like I am joining an amazing team.”
When asked what she considered to be her greatest accomplishments, Kyllo quickly named the most important one.
“Being a mom is one of the greatest accomplishments,” she said. “I believe it helps me stay grounded in my profession.
“As for my approach to education, I believe we are a team, and everyone truly wants what is best for kids. So it is important to be honest, transparent, empathetic and strategic when we are making decisions.”
Her influences in education include teachers she had while in school. She remembers each one fondly and notes the impact they had on her as an educator.
“Relationships are important to me. I am looking forward to building those strong partnerships,” she said. “I grow and learn from each experience. I feel blessed to have a circle of friends, family and colleagues that inspire me.”