Shawnee Mission district reassigns current Belinder, Indian Hills and Hocker Grove principals

Karen Faucher will be leaving Belinder after more than 20 years at the end of this school year.
Karen Faucher will be leaving Belinder after more than 20 years at the end of this school year.

The Shawnee Mission School District on Thursday announced three leadership changes at northeast Johnson County schools that will go into effect next year.

Hocker Grove Middle School principal Dr. Scott Sherman will be taking over as principal of Indian Hills Middle School starting next school year, while Indian Hills principal Carla Allen will be heading to Hocker Grove.

Karen Faucher, Belinder Elementary’s principal for more than 20 years, will be reassigned to Overland Park Elementary, which is a few blocks away from SM West. In a message sent to parents Friday, Faucher said she does not know who her replacement will be yet. The district said it believes her replacement will be named next week.

“While I am always eager to accept the challenges of new opportunities,” Faucher wrote, “please know that this community will forever hold a special place in my heart. Belinder is one filled with very caring, involved, and dedicated people (students as well as parents), a fabulous school staff, and a community in which mutual respect has always been the norm.”

Sherman and Allen were instrumental in the transitional periods at their respective schools after the district announced Mission Valley and Antioch Middle Schools would be closed in 2010, leading to an influx of new students at Hocker Grove and Indian Hills.

District spokeswoman Leigh Anne Neal sent the following statement regarding the moves:

Staffing assignments are reviewed regularly across the district in all areas (administrative, certified, and classified personnel). Each year, staff members retire or resign and staffing is evaluated across the district. Some of the primary factors that are considered include the strengths of individual leaders coupled with the needs of specific buildings in order to assign personnel to best serve the students and school communities districtwide. As these new assignments are finalized, the information is being communicated to staff members and to the community through letters as well as opportunities where possible for the incoming principals to attend scheduled events in order to meet the community. This information is being communicated through each school.