SM East athletic director Debbie Katzfey leaving to take admin job at BV Northwest

Debbie Katzfey and a SM East state championship golf team

Debbie Katzfey is resigning from SMSD effective June 30 to take a job at BV Northwest High School. Above, a picture in Katzfey's office showing Katzfey, far left, with a girls golf state title-winning team. Photo credit Juliana Garcia.

Debbie Katzfey, athletic director at Shawnee Mission East, is finishing up her last few months as a Lancer. This fall, Katzfey will trade in the Columbia blue to become a Blue Valley Northwest Husky — as both the athletic director and an assistant principal at that school.

Why the change? Katzfey told the Post when this opportunity came along, something told her to go for it.

  • She’s going on 39 years in education and believe she still has a few good years left to give to students — and she wanted to accept the challenge of a new school and additional responsibilities.
  • She will be adding to her role as BV Northwest’s assistant principal, which means she will take on teacher evaluations and some student discipline, as well.

Lancer career: Katzfey came to SM East six years ago from Lee’s Summit West. Since then, she said, she’s been in awe of the SM East community, which not only accepted her with open arms but goes out of their way to give back to those in need.

  • Katzfey said leaving SM East is bittersweet because being a part of “Lancer pride and tradition” is the most fun she’s had in her nearly 39-year career.

New athletic director: Ryan Johnson, associate principal and athletic director at De Soto High School, is taking over the athletic director position at SM East, according to Shawnee Mission board documents from May 9. Johnson could not be reached for comment for this story.

Key quote: “I really, really want to thank all of the people from Shawnee Mission East and their families for welcoming me and making me feel at home,” Katzfey said. “It’s been a big part of my life and I’m gonna miss them.”