Shawnee Mission board approves hiring of 3 new Assistant Superintendents

The Shawnee Mission School Board on Wednesday approved the hiring of three new Assistant Superintendents.
The Shawnee Mission School Board on Monday approved the hiring of three new Assistant Superintendents.

The Shawnee Mission Board of Education this week announced the hiring of three new assistant superintendents, taking a major step toward filling out the new organizational chart Superintendent Jim Hinson unveiled in January.

The new hires are:

  • Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Support: Dr. Rick Atha. Atha has spent the past 10 years as the superintendent of the Garden City School District. In his role with Shawnee Mission, he will oversee financial operations, food services and heath services. Atha will also oversee the district’s English Language Learner and migrant populations programs, areas where he developed a wealth of experience in Garden City. Atha has 42 years experience in public education.
  • Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment: Dr. Christy Ziegler. Ziegler was hired by the district last year as the director of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) after she was let go by the Gardner-Edgerton School District. In her new role, she will oversee development and implementation of classroom curriculum as well as the district’s assessment tools. She has 18 years of service in public education.
  • Assistant Superintendent for Human Resource: Dr. Douglas Sumner. For the past five years, Sumner has been the superintendent of the DeSoto School District. He has 27 years experience in public education. In his new role, he will oversee all district personnel and its professional development program.

As part of the approval of the new assistant superintendents’ contracts Monday, Hinson announced that Dr. Michelle Hubbard, who was introduced in December as Shawnee Mission’s new Human Resources chief, had been moved into the role of Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Leadership. After Hinson released the new organizational chart, Hubbard requested that she be considered for the Instructional Leadership role, suggesting it was a better fit for her background. Hinson’s office agreed, which paved the way for Sumner to be hired to oversee Human Resources. As the head of Instructional Leadership, Hubbard will oversee elementary and secondary services, activities and athletics, and special education.

Though the board voted unanimously to approve all three contracts, the contract documents were not included in the meeting packet made available to the public. The district has yet to provide those contract documents to the Prairie Village Post after a request made Tuesday.

Hinson told the school board Monday that despite the hiring of the new administrators, the district would realize a cost savings of $80,000 due to the elimination of some positions in the new organizational chart.

Also on Monday, the board approved a deadline extension for administrators to accept the district’s one-time buy out offer. The deadline for administrators to accept the buy out had been Monday, but Hinson asked the board to extend the offer through Feb. 23 to allow certain individuals to see whether the new organizational structure would impact their decision.

The buy out offer for teachers expired Feb. 2. A total of 180 Shawnee Mission teachers accepted the offer.