By Jackie Nelson
Ed Zuercher, a 1983 graduate of Hesston High and son of Bill and Joyce Zuercher of Hesston, is now responsible for a $3.5 billion budget, over 14,000 employees and negotiations with over seven unions.
In February, Zuercher was appointed Phoenix, Ariz., City Manager. Zuercher is the Chief Operating Officer for the city of Phoenix and oversees the largest council-manager form of government in the U.S.
Zuercher, a Hesston native, returned to the community after earning his B.A. in English and secondary education from Goshen College.
“I taught English and American History at Hesston High from 1988 to 1992 and coached tennis and basketball,” he said
After years of teaching, Zuercher was ready for a professional transition.
“I really love teaching and working with teachers and students. I didn’t like grading papers – and that’s really a character flaw in someone who wants to be an English teacher. I didn’t see myself grading papers the rest of my life,” he said.
Zuercher said he knew he needed to further his education to find a new profession.
“I needed to go to grad school. I didn’t know specifically what I wanted to get into when I went to KU. KU’s master of Public Administration Schools is one of the nation’s best city management schools. Once I got on campus, I liked the issues cities dealt with and liked working with people on city issues,” he said.
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