As a second-generation Private School Owner, Kirt found his passion at an early age, growing up working in the book store of his father’s college.
After graduation and several jobs that failed to fulfill him, Kirt went to work in the family business. His entry into the business consisted of learning all aspects of the Private School world: from Janitor, Receptionist, Registrar’s Assistant, Financial Aid Assistant to Admissions Representative. Shortly after Kirt started to work in the family business, it was sold to an outside source. After two more ownership changes, the Private School was ultimately purchased by Phillips Colleges, the largest Private School chain in the world, Kirt was able to advance to Director of Admissions. Working for Phillips provided him an opportunity to learn from some incredibly successful leaders in the industry, many of which went on to run other successful college systems throughout the country.
Kirt moved on from Phillips to work for North American Colleges, an Arizona based four college system. There, he was promoted to Campus Director. While working for North American, Kirt was provided an opportunity to purchase a small school that had no students, no teachers, no equipment; just a good reputation, curriculum, and accreditation. Since 1992, Kirt has been the Owner/Administrator of The Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences, which consists of two locations based in the East Valley.
Hamm’s first introduction to APSA was when he was 16, stuffing envelopes for the APSA High School Scholarship Program. Kirt knew then that this alliance of industry professional was the group that he needed to align himself with. Years later, Kirt served on an APSA Committee, graduated to an APSA Board Member, and, ultimately, became APSA President. Kirt currently celebrates his 30th year of APSA commitment and service.
Entering his 28th year as Administrator of CRAS, Kirt believes that this has been the most rewarding experience anyone could ever imagine. Kirt has assembled an incredible team of enthusiastic, intelligent, and passionate members to help grow and guide CRAS into the future. Kirt’s, and CRAS’, success has been based on a model of “students come first” and student success is centric to the decisions and policies CRAS makes on a daily basis.