Kenny Southwick, who has served as a top administrator in the Shawnee Mission School District since 2014, will be returning to work on the Missouri side of the state line after he leaves his current position this summer.
The Cooperating School Districts of Greater Kansas City announced this week that Southwick will become their new executive director starting in September. With roots dating back to 1976, Cooperating School Districts of Greater Kansas City was formed to provide economies of scale to several Missouri districts in the area, allowing them to reduce costs through group purchasing, joint professional development services and combined lobbying efforts, among other initiatives.
Southwick will replace Gayden Carruth, the former Park Hill superintendent who became Cooperating School Districts of Greater Kansas City’s first-ever full time executive director back in 2008.
Southwick was superintendent of the Belton School District — one of Cooperating School Districts of Greater Kansas City’s 32 member districts — for 12 years before retiring and moving into the private sector, where he worked as a design consultant for school projects at ACI Borland Architects. He returned to public education in 2014 when new Shawnee Mission Superintendent Jim Hinson named him his deputy. Southwick was the key administrator overseeing the massive wave of construction the district undertook following the approval of a $233 bond issue by district voters in 2015.
Following Hinson’s announced retirement in spring 2017, the Shawnee Mission School Board tapped Southwick to serve as interim for the 2017-18 school year.
Southwick announced his retirement from Shawnee Mission schools in February. He will conclude his time with the district this summer, completing a service period of five years that will allow him to receive retirement benefits through the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System.