The Truthful Thirty

November 8, 2018


By Vincent Toepper


Photo courtesy of Mr. Busse 

The Catalyst rolled out a new monthly column called The Truthful Thirty, which asks various staff members or students 30 questions. This month, we interviewed General Manager Daniel Busse.

  1. Best thing about New Mexico?

The natural beauty. Personal favorite: The Jemez Mountains and Valley

  1. What can’t you live without?

Family and friends, but as far as food goes – good pizza.

  1. Where would you want to live in the whole entire world?

If there weren’t so many people wanting to do the same, probably the mountains in Colorado.

  1. What are you most passionate about?

Education. I think it is the one way that everyone can become what they would like to be, or to reinvent themselves.

  1. Who is the funniest person you know?

My niece, Caroline.

  1. Do you drink coffee, if you do when and how do you like it.

I drink a mug of half/caf in the morning and then sip on another one throughout the day. Of course there are days when an iced coffee or frappuccino (full caf) are needed!

7. What have you learned being a general manager?

I’ve learned how important it is to really listen to all the people I work with every day, from scholars to parents to staff. I need to be able to hear what is important to each person. I am constantly learning and trying to do better. I’ve also learned how important being part of a great team is. Tap into people’s strengths and you can build a great team.

  1. What made you want to be a principle?

I used to be the staff member at the back of the room that was disengaged or working on other things. I then had a principal talk to me about how much they appreciated me, but how much my inattention at meetings was a disruption. I listened to them. When the chance came to be an administrator and help shape and change things I welcomed the opportunity to do something. I believe in education and I want The ASK Academy to be the best.

  1. What is your favorite sport.?

Hockey. There is nothing like the finesse, controlled chaos, and teamwork that hockey is all about.

  1. What is your favorite Holiday?

Christmas. We celebrate both here (we make our own luminarias), open a serious amount of gifts, and have a meal with friends and family. Then we go back to Chicago and we have a family party. Since I am the youngest of 10, with siblings and their families and their families, we now have something like 60 stockings and we all add to each other’s stockings so it’s a fun time. Mainly though, it’s a time to appreciate the family I have.

  1. What is your Favorite food?

Chicago Pizza.

  1. What is your least favorite food?

I once tried chitterlings, and they were the worst thing I have ever tasted.

  1. What was your first job?

When I was in 7th and 8th grade I had a paper route (ack in the old days you would have a set of hooks on your handle bars and strap a big canvas bag full of papers to it, then go deliver them as you rode. I also had to collect money every week from all the people on my route).

  1. What is your first pet’s name?

No pets. I am a dog person but we just aren’t home enough to have one.

  1. What is your favorite thing to wear?

It is not a shirt and tie. Summer wear is my favorite: shorts and t-shirts.

  1. What is your favorite book.?

This is tough, I read all the time, but if I had to pick one: George Orwell’s 1984.

  1. What is your favorite T.V show?


  1. What is your favorite plot twist in a movie?

Anyone that involves a person turning their lives around or doing more than they thought possible.

  1. What is the first thing you do in the morning?

I get up at 4:45 eat a little something and then walk (usually along the bosque) for at least 40 minutes.

  1. What are 3 words that describe yourself?

Caring, sarcastic (never with scholars of course), involved

  1. What is your favorite hobby?


  1. What is your spirit animal?

A deer

  1. What is one of the biggest surprises in your life?

Becoming a father

  1. What is your favorite superhero?


  1. Do you have any nicknames?

Rughead – because I used to get “flat top” haircuts as a kid.

  1. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever given someone?

It’s what my father told me and I believe it: Don’t wait for other people to give you things. Go out and earn it. It means more and you will know what it means to get things done.

  1. What is the best gift you’ve ever got someone?

I had the words to one of my wife and I’s favorite songs (Naive Melody: This must be the Place by the Talking Heads) printed on top of a picture of her and I standing on a dock watching the sunset.

  1. What is the best gift you’ve ever received from someone?

My daughters

  1. What is your worst habit?

Given the chance, I can be lazy

  1. What is your best habit?

Taking care of my responsibilities

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