Board hires two new assistants for district
Two new administrators were recently hired in the Basehor-Linwood School District.
In a special meeting Thursday evening, school board members approved a contract for David Howard to become the district's assistant superintendent beginning this summer. The board also approved a contract for Doug Hay, who will become the new Basehor-Linwood High School assistant principal this summer.
Howard will replace Don Swartz who is retiring at the end of the 2006-2007 school year.
Superintendent Bob Albers said that while they interviewed three other qualified candidates, Howard stood out.
"The main factor was his personality," Albers said. "He's very calm, personable and insightful - and his work ethic. The thing he impressed on us is that nobody is going to outwork him."
Howard is currently superintendent and principal of a school with grades 7 through 12 in Chase-Raymond Unified School District 401, a small district just east of Great Bend. He has been with that district for nine years.
A native of Arlington, Kan., Howard earned a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in administration from Fort Hays State University. He received his first teaching position in White City and also taught in Ellinwood, where he was head football coach, before taking his position with the Chase-Raymond district.
He said his wife, Toni, and two young children were excited for the move to Basehor.
"My wife and I love the location," he said. "We think there's going to be a lot of new and different opportunities for our kids. I'm just looking forward to a new challenge. A larger school district will definitely be a new challenge."
After a 40-minute executive session during the regular school board meeting Monday night, school board members approved Hay's hiring.
Hay will take the place of former assistant principal Sherry Reeves, who was recently promoted to the principal position beginning next school year. Current BLHS principal, Steve Blankenship has accepted a position with the Pratt School District.
Reeves said Hay's experience with different grade levels and his ability to build relationships with students were deciding factors.
"He has experience in administration at the middle school level and also in the science classroom at the high school level," she said. "That's a nice blend of both grade levels. He's also very knowledgeable in school improvement and has a great rapport with all kids and his staff."
Hay hails from Salina and received a bachelor's degree in earth and space science in education from Kansas University. He later received a master's degree in administration from Washburn University. He began teaching at Shawnee Heights School District near Topeka, where he also coached various varsity sports and ran a karate club.
He is currently the assistant principal at Patton Junior High School in Fort Leavenworth and has been there for six years. He lives in Shawnee with his wife, Michele, and their three children.
Hay said he was looking forward to getting back to the high school level and working in a district with a strong reputation.
"I love the fact that it's a similar environment I began teaching in 18 years ago," he said. "I like that it's a school of just a little over 500, so you can get to know the kids. The people seem upbeat, energetic and quite good in their positions. I had a couple other job offers, and Basehor-Linwood was definitely the one I wanted to have."
Albers also gave an update on the facilities planning committee during Monday night's meeting. The committee met April 4 and brought several different ideas for a bond proposal to the table.
"As each committee member threw out ideas, we put it on a flip chart," he said. "We discussed what construction would be involved, the cost, location, positives and the negatives of each one."
The committee went through about seven different scenarios, Albers said, which ranged from a new elementary school, a new middle school or a new high school to expansions of present buildings and combinations of both. He said committee members would continue the brainstorming process and hope to narrow it down to the best option at the next meeting, Wednesday, April 18. That option will be presented to the school board in May.
In other action Monday night, the school board:
- Approved, 5-0, with member Gary Johnson absent, student handbooks for 2007-2008.
- Approved, 5-0, the senior class trip May 4 to Silver Dollar City.
- Approved, 5-0, curriculum adoptions.
- Approved, 5-0, an additional elementary school teaching position.
- Approved, 5-0, the renewal of the contract for Web site technology support.
- Approved, 5-0, capital outlay requests.
- Approved, 4-1, with president Randy Cunningham opposed, textbook and lunch fees for 2007-2008.
- Approved, 5-0, the Board of Education policy chapter F for final reading and chapter G, part 1 for first reading.
- Met in executive session for about 40 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel.
- Accepted, 5-0, the resignation of BLHS girls basketball coach, Tami Holthus.
- Approved, 5-0, new contracts for Sheila Callaghan, 2007-2008 junior varsity cheerleading coach, Lesa Taylor, BLHS attendance secretary, Kristen Perry, 2007-2008 BLHS language arts, Gary Horton, BLHS custodian, Kari Harvey, half-time Glenwood Ridge Elementary School kindergarten and reading teacher and Sixth Grade Center Physical Education, and Noah Simpson, BLHS girls basketball coach.
- Approved, 5-0, director contract renewals for Brenda DeGroot, director of the Virtual School, Nicole Williams, assistant director of the Virtual School and Richard Drennon, director of building and grounds.