Dakota Kaus has joined Cameron University as the director of CU-Duncan, stepping into the shoes of longtime director Susan Camp, who will retire at the end of June. Kaus comes to Duncan from Empire Public Schools, where she served as assistant principal for the middle school and high school following five years as a teacher.
In her new role, Kaus serves as the university's liaison to Duncan and the surrounding communities. She supervises all CU-Duncan functions including staffing, course offerings, academic programs and facility and property maintenance. Kaus oversees all aspects of a CU-Duncan student’s tenure, including admissions, academic advising, student services, financial assistance, recruiting and student retention, with the goal of ensuring student success and degree completion.
As a representative of Cameron University at the local and state levels, Kaus continues existing and develops new institutional relationships with area schools, businesses and community services organizations. She assesses local educational and employment needs to determine future growth and opportunities. In addition, she works with applicable staff members at the Lawton campus to market and promote CU-Duncan.
After completing a Bachelor of Science from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in 2015, Kaus earned a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership from Cameron in May 2018. In May 2023, she graduated from Southern Nazarene University with a Doctor of Education degree in Administration and Leadership.
Kaus taught at the elementary level for one year at Emerson Elementary School in Duncan. In 2017, she moved to Empire Public Schools, where she taught at the early childhood/elementary level for two years and the middle school/high school level for three years.
In addition to her role as an educator, Kaus completed more than 120 hours of job shadowing with the elementary principal. She assisted with disciplinary issues at extracurricular events, where she was the administrator on duty, and helped review teacher evaluations and placements. She also assisted in the implementation of prior learning focuses when they were mandated by the state, and coached fellow teachers completing those focuses throughout the year. In addition to serving on numerous committees, she was an assistant coach for softball and basketball.
In her most recent role at Empire – assistant principal for the middle and high schools – she oversaw the evaluation of more than half of the teaching staff through the TLE portal. She also served as the director of virtual learning, in which she ensured that the virtual learning program prepared students for future success.
In addition, Kaus served as head of academics in the middle school and high school buildings, purchasing curriculum in order to meet state standards, monitor benchmark testing windows and evaluate the school based on state reports. She implemented a new incentive program in the middle school to help boost state scores and lead students to being motivated to try their best on assessments. Kaus helped develop a discipline matrix that was implemented for the 2022-2023 school year, ensuring that discipline procedures are consistent and reliable. She regularly engaged with parents, families, and stakeholders to ensure the success of Empire Schools and the students and staff within it.