Kluth plans his return to Columbus Area Sports & Activities Council
After wrapping up the 2018-19 school year at Shell Creek Elementary School, Principal Doug Kluth plans to return to familiar turf: The Columbus Area Sports & Activities Council.
“I am very excited with the opportunity of coming back because I had left a lot of unfinished business,” said Kluth, who will continue to serve as the council’s director next year.
CASAC is an organization dedicated to promoting the Columbus area as one of the region’s premier destinations for sports and entertainment, according to its official website. Throughout his years with the council, Kluth was in the forefront of many projects such as the remodeling of the Columbus High School baseball field and the upcoming horseshoe facility at Frontier Park, located between the Armed Forces Reserve Center and the Columbus Public Schools property in east Columbus.
Since Kluth took up the principal position earlier this year, Columbus/Platte County Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Deb Loseke helped fill in as the council’s interim director. Some of the responsibilities that come with the position include helping maximize local sports facilities, introduce more sporting and entertainment events into the community and keeping track of area activities.
“A lot of what he’s doing melds nicely with what I do,” said Loseke, noting the bureau is the council’s financial partner, along with the City of Columbus.
Despite that, Kluth didn’t completely leave the organization. Loseke said he checks in periodically and represented the council at several meetings.
However, returning to the council was not Kluth’s initial plan. Because the principal position required him to take a step back from the organization for roughly 10 months, Kluth thought it was best for the council to find a replacement.
Loseke said she started looking for a suitable candidate in August, but had no luck. She said many applicants turned down the opportunity because it’s a part-time position.
After spending three weeks scavenging the workforce, Loseke decided to reach out to Kluth to ask him if he would be interested in returning to the council. With her fingers crossed, Kluth ultimately said yes.
“(Doug Kluth) is a great asset in that position,” said Loseke, describing his dedication to the council and his connections. “He loved the job ... He has never lost contact so that was our driving force in just deciding that we needed him back in this position because he does a great job.”
Despite the changes within the council, Loseke said its programming will continue as usual like the upcoming Youth Sign-Up Day from 9-11 a.m. on March 23 at Ag Park, 822 15th St. It’s a day where several area groups – including the Nebraska Extension-Platte County, Columbus Public Library, Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska and the school districts – offer youth activities to come together for open registration.
Those interested in learning more about the event are encouraged to call Loseke at 402-564-2769 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, Kluth is looking forward to continuing his work at the council after this school year. Kluth said his motivation stems from his belief for Columbus’ potential of growth.
“I am not planning on quitting,” he said.
Natasya Ong is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach her via email at email@example.com.