WENTZVILLE, Mo. – Major Ken Kasten has spent nearly 20 years serving in the Air National Guard.
One weekend a month, and again during the summer months, he leaves his wife, Angela, their three children, and his civilian job as assistant principal at Wentzville Middle School, to work on B2 Stealth Bombers at Whiteman Air Force Base in Sedalia.
Kasten started in the military as a way to help pay for college and continued his service while receiving his education degrees, first becoming a physical education teacher and growing into his role as assistant principal. He says the two roles are very different but often parallel requirements. The similarity comes with the teamwork and communication it takes to lead in two diverse groups.
“It’s a lot of communication back and forth and that works on both sides — education and military. I’ve been fortunate to work with great, great people in both roles,” he said.
Kasten praises his wife and kids for their support. While the interview was taking place, Angela and his kids were delivering food for a charity group his son founded.
“There have been times when I’ve had to miss things but we make it up,” he said.
Sometimes his family can come with him when he travels to Whiteman AFB because they have extended family in the Kansas City-area.
“We’re very proud of Major Kasten. Not only is he in the military taking care of our country but also as a principal, which is a very tough job right now,” said Ed Brown, Brown & Brown Law Firm.
Brown & Brown provides the $500 Proud to Serve award.
Major Kasten says he does not think there is balance; just communication and flexibility.
“I don’t know that balance is a thing. It’s an imbalance,” he said. “But the support and understanding they, Angela and the kids, offer at home and at school has been something that we talk through and figure out. Everyone has been super flexible and supportive.”
FOX 2 salutes Major Kenneth Kasten for his service to our country and his leadership role serving middle school students and teachers in the Wentzville School District.
If you would like to nominate a first responder, military serviceperson, or veteran for our Proud to Serve award, click here.