The news that Superintendent Jim Hinson will be leaving Shawnee Mission after four years leading the district caught parents, teachers and building administrators off guard this week.
Hinson’s tenure has been marked by sweeping staffing changes at the district’s upper levels, as well as ambitious initiatives to modernize existing facilities and build new ones. Shortly after his arrival, the district launched a massive program to integrate laptops and iPads into lesson plans and teaching strategies. He also pushed for the expansion of science, technology, engineering and math curriculum.
In recent month, though, frustrations began to mount among several of Hinson’s constituencies, from teachers who say they felt like expressing concerns with choices district leaders had made would lead to retaliation, to public education advocates who found themselves flummoxed by his positions in the Kansas school funding debate.
What was your reaction to news that Hinson would be stepping down at the end of the year? Do you think his retirement is good news or bad news for the district as a whole?