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7 Questions with Erin Kane


Erin Kane is the superintendent of Colorado’s third largest school district, overseeing nearly 90 schools, 64,000 students and 8,600 employees



How did you meet your husband? When I graduated from college in applied mathematics and computer science I was in a great position with many companies recruiting me because there were more jobs than there were engineers. I ended up taking a job with IBM in Colorado Springs. My first day they assigned me an office and the guy next door looked really familiar; he was the guy from the job fair I had submitted my resume to. He remembered me right away, but I had this rule I didn't date people I worked with. John will tell you he asked me out a couple of times and I said no because of my rule. I finally agreed to go out with him on Valentine's Day and he did the whole thing: a dozen roses and cooked me dinner, and it was very, very sweet. We dated for a year and then got engaged. What is your favorite holiday? Thanksgiving probably. I mean, Christmas, of course, but just in terms of our family traditions, Thanksgiving is one of our favorites. Something about making that dinner with my mom and with my girls now. It's just fun, a time when you're not stressed out about presents; you're just making and enjoying a meal together as a family. Family is really special. I understand you went out and canvassed for 5A and 5B. How did that go? I am so awkward. I have never canvassed in my life. You could not have asked me to do anything more terrifying. I am very awkward in a mingling type situation. I can talk to thousands of people, no problem, but mingling is not something I am great at. But of course, I'm the superintendent, so I have to go out and canvas. I have to canvas more than anyoneelse. So John and I went to a 55 and over community. We went around a block and started the next block but it is a confusing neighborhood. As I walked up to the house and rang the doorbell I knew I had been to that house before - we had started the same block over! This gentleman comes to the door and still has the palm card in his hand that I had given him minutes before. I was so embarrassed but he was so nice and said he was glad I came back because he had another question. I promised him that I am a better superintendent that I am as a canvasser.
You went to CU. What is your best college story? I was so boring. I wanted to get my degree and go. I do have one funny story. I was in engineering so I loved math and hated writing. I needed a writing course so I looked for the easiest course I could find. I signed up for creative writing. I showed up to class and there were about 15 of us sitting around a conference table. The professor said this is how the class works, "When the mood hits you, write something." I asked when the first one was due, "No, no. Its just when you feel like it." So I wrote some stupid poem and we talked about it in class, and nothing. It wasn't graded or collected or anything. So I wondered why the mood would ever hit me! I just went to class the rest of the semester and didn't write another thing. At the end of the semester the professor said for our final we had to compile 40 pages of our best work as the final. I had the one page poem I wrote. So the night before it was due, I remember sitting in a computer lab and all night I just made things up. I even wrote a poem on Nintendo. I turned it in and watched the hard working kid next to me get his back. He got a B+ or something, and I got mine back with an A+. I felt so bad.71% of readers confirm purchasing products or services se
What was your least favorite chore growing up?
My mother was obsessive about how clean our house was. She vacuumed every single day. When we would get home from school we couldn't go upstairs and change (I wore a school uniform) because you would get footprints on the newly vacuumed stairs. So I just had to wear my uniform to do my chores after school. Likewise, she wanted the floors washed every day. The foyer floor and out to the laundry room to the garage – that floor was my job.My mom did not allowmops; it was all on your hands and knees with a bucket. It was everyday. So everyday that I got home from school I had to wash the floor on my hands and knees in my uniform without missing a single spot. I used to joke that I was Cinderella. She was obsessed.

You have three kids. Do you have any funny stories as a new mom?
Whenwe moved in to CastlePines North therewas nothing, just a gas station. We had to go to the grocery store in Castle Rock. Safeway soon opened near us and I was so excited that I went to the grand opening. There was no one there except these really helpful Safeway employees lined up at all the counters, and then there was me with a newborn and two year old. Immediately the baby started screaming, losing his mind. So helpful employee#1 came up to me and told me my baby was hungry. (New mothers love when men tell them that) I said he's fine and snuck down a hallway, but of course he was hungry. So I went to the pharmacy where they have seats so I could nurse. I was hiding there nursing. I had no idea where the two year old was. Suddenly this tour of employees came to the pharmacy, and I was sitting there nursing in front of them, dying. So I gathered everything up and headed down the next aisle when I saw I had leaked everywhere. So I held my purse to cover myself, trying to push the cart when the same helpful employee #1 came up with my daughter. He said she needed to use the rest room and I thought, "Go away, she's fine." He left and I saw she had stuck her hand in her diaper... I abandoned the whole thing and just left. I didn't go back for the next eight months!

Who is the most influential person in your life?
My mother. She has always inspired me. She's brilliant and did education her whole life. She used to tell me, "Whatever you do, don't go into education because it's too political." I guess I didn't listen. She is really smart, she perseveres and has an incredible sense of humor. She has always been my rock. She taught me so much. She persuaded me that the shiniest thing wasn't necessarily the way to go. My mom and dad have always had an exceptionally happy marriage. They have been married for 53 years.
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