Archive for Wednesday, July 4, 2001

Cormack named new district superintendent

July 4, 2001

The Basehor-Linwood School Board has officially announced that Cal Cormack will succeed former Superintendent Dave Pendleton.

The announcement became official June 27 at a special School Board meeting in which board members accepted the resignation of Pendleton.

The vacancy for the district superintendent position didn't last long.

Following the approval of the resignation, Cormack was unanimously approved for the position.

Cormack said he expected to be named superintendent but he wasn't certain.

"I thought I would but there was always the possibility the board would choose to do something else," Cormack said.Cormack has been with the school district since 1996. Prior to that, he worked for the Kauffman Foundation, a charitable non-profit organization founded by the late Royals' owner Ewing Kauffman.

He has also served in different administrative capacities in his educational career, including principal and associate superintendent in the Shawnee Mission school district.

Cormack's contract has not yet been finalized by the School Board, although board members said it would be competitive with that other superintendents in the state.

A dollar figure has not been determined, but Cormack recently recommended to the School Board that it not raise the salaries of administrators in the school district.

Cormack said he is hoping to sign a two-year deal with the school district. A two-year contract makes it easier to plan the future of the school district, Cormack said.

For the future of the school district, Cormack said he and the School Board must start planning for the growth that the Basehor area is expected to receive.

"Planning for the future starts with the School Board," Cormack said. "There has to be a proactive approach taken to make sure the district is fully prepared for the growth that is expected."

Cormack said he expects the district to go through another bond issue within the next 5 to 10 years.

"I would think so, but exactly when that would be needed I don't know," he said. "A lot of factors would weigh into that decision."

Although planning remains a key factor for the success of the school district, the main goal is to keep providing a quality educational experience to the students in the district.

"There has to be a continuing emphasis on improvement as well as raising expectations," Cormack said.

The school district already has in place a solid program, but the goal is to keep improving the education for the students, Cormack said.

"Since the consolidation the school district has been very successful, one of the reasons is because of the emphasis on technology," he said. "Technology wise, we have one of the top programs in the state."

Another benefit that helped education in the school district was adding district-funded health insurance for employees.

Before, employees were offered a health plan, but had to pay for it themselves. Cormack said providing health insurance to employees is a positive factor in recruiting new teachers as well as retaining existing ones.

In the end, the district's goal is to find better ways to help learn.

"Everyone is always looking for a better way to teach students and we're no different," Cormack said. "The focus should always be on the kids learning."

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