Bob Hasz’ career takes him from South Dakota to Kasson
Bob Hasz grew up on a farm near Scotland, S.D. with four siblings. The town was organized in 1879 by Scottish immigrants from their native country of Scotland. It is located about 75 miles southwest of Sioux Falls, and 30 miles north of Yankton, S.D.
The Hasz family raised cattle, hogs, chickens, crops, and pasture land. There was a creek running through their farm, and Bob took any chance he could to explore along its banks.
Bob participated in track, cross country and band while he was in high school at Scotland. When a new music teacher arrived on staff, she started organizing a swing choir that performed and competed at area schools. When a member of the choir quit, two of Bob’s friends asked him to fill in. Bob told his friends and the director that he wasn’t a singer, but the director told him, she just needed a body to learn some choreography and he could just move his mouth. In the spring Bob told her he didn’t need to be in the swing choir next year, but she told him you are already part of it!
Bob attended Yankton College in Yankton, and majored in business administration where he was involved with student government groups. It was a tough job market with the high interest rates affecting businesses when Bob graduated, so jobs were not that easy to find. His mother knew a member on the Scotland school board, and the board member told her they were looking for a new business manager. Bob applied for the position and he started his career as a school business manager a few weeks later. He thought he might stay there for a couple of years until his youngest sister graduated from the high school but it turned out that Bob was at the school for the next 18 years.
Bob’s wife, Charlene, grew up in Annandale, Minn. Following high school, she majored in music at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. She moved to Scotland, S.D. in 1994 when she was hired as the music teacher at the school.
At the time, Bob was the director for a community theater musical. Charlene was pegged for a role in the musical and was cast as a lead. While they worked together at the school, they got to know each other best during theater practice.
Their first date was on Halloween, and they were married Memorial weekend in 1995. Charlene grew up in music ministry and education and had recorded a CD in 1997 with plans to share her music ministry with others. The timing wasn’t quite right as she and Bob welcomed their baby girl, Andrina in 1998, followed by their son, Kennan in 2001.
When Andrina was born Charlene and Bob decided it would be best for Charlene to be home with the children while they were young.
The Hasz family moved to St. James, Minn. in 1998, and Bob took over the Madelia school business manager position for the next two-and-a-half years. They then moved to Little Falls, Minn. and he was the school business manager for the next three-and-a-half years.
In November, 2003 Bob was hired as the Kasson-Mantorville school business manager, and they moved to Kasson-Mantorville. In the 19 years that Bob has been at the K-M School he has worked with three superintendents, Mike Smith, Pete Grant, and Mark Matuska.
Bob said each school he has worked at is different depending on the size of the student enrollment. One would think that schools would operate much the same way. Minnesota’s system of financing schools is much more complex than what South Dakota’s system is.
In Bob’s current position, he is mainly involved in putting the budget together, monitoring the revenues and expenditures and making sure they are reported correctly to meet state and federal guidelines. He oversees the payroll, accounts payable, and student enrollment staff in the district office.
Bob attends the regular school board meetings each month. Bob said that even though he is very involved with the school’s financial figures on a daily basis, no two days are ever the same for him.
Bob is a member of the K-M Lions, and has been on the Care and Share board for the past six years. He is really impressed with the support as each year members of the community step up to help people and their families in many ways.
Charlene is the assistant principal at Churchill Hoover Elementary School in Rochester. Their two children are K-M grads, and their daughter is now a cardiac surgery ICU nurse with Mayo in Rochester. Their son is a college student.
Bob likes to golf when he gets the chance, and enjoys reading historical fiction books, especially the lengthy novels by author James Michener. Bob said he does not have any special TV shows but his wife and daughter are regulars on a couple of TV programs. They often ask others what programs they are binge watching or streaming.
Bob watches some sport events on TV, but does not consider himself a die-hard Minnesota fan. Charlene watches the Super Bowl — for the commercials!
Bob likes to putter around their yard so he takes care of the outside area while Charlene takes care of the home interior projects. They also enjoy checking out antique shops, boutiques, and second-hand stores around the area and while traveling.
Bob and Charlene prioritized traveling with their children while they grew up and visited some of the western National Parks, Colorado, Boston, Niagara Falls, Florida and several other states and Canada as a family. While in music groups in high school and college, Charlene toured in the countries of Zimbabwe, South Africa, England, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. She visited Norway last year, to connect with relatives and visit the area her family emigrated from. She is planning another trip to Norway this summer and this time she will bring Bob along!
Bob really likes the small town feeling that Kasson gives, and the sense of pride the residents show in the town and school. Being close to Rochester, it is easy to take advantage of additional opportunities for shopping and other recreational activities. It has been a great choice for them when they made the move to the community 19 years ago.