USD 329 superintendent announces retirement

Emma Alderman | editor in chief

Superintendent Brad Starnes announced his resignation in an email to district employees last week

“Prior to the November 8th BOE agenda becoming public I wanted to let you know of my retirement/resignation effective at the end of this 21-22 contract year. It has been my distinct pleasure for the past 7 years to serve as your USD 329 Wabaunsee superintendent. Together we have accomplished many good things,” Starnes wrote in the email.

The hope is to have a replacement named in either December or January, with the new superintendent to begin service on July 1, 2022.

“I will cherish the friendships I’ve been fortunate to make at Wabaunsee. Godspeed, continued prayers & direction as we all move forward. Here’s to a strong finish!” Starnes wrote.

When asked what he thinks some of his biggest accomplishments with our district were, Starnes spoke about Leader in Me and the addition of a mental health team among many other things. 

“There’s been a lot of good things from the district’s perspective and we’ve created an atmosphere where it isn’t ok just being ok, there’s an expectation of excellence,” Starnes said. 

Starnes said that his plans now include looking for another job so that he can work four more years for social security. He also gave advice to whoever fills his job. 

“There are great people here and it’s a great school district. I think everyone should continue to look at the positives of the district and they’re because of the people,” Starnes said. He said he strived to create “an atmosphere where it wasn’t OK with just being OK, an expectation of excellence.”

Monday night at the November board of education meeting the board decided to use Kansas Association of School Boards to search for a new superintendent after accepting Starne’s resignation. 

“Thank you for everything you have done for our district, everything you brought to our district and most of all for putting the investment in our kids and putting first things first,” board member Justin Frank said. 

Board Meeting notes

The board opened its meeting Monday night with a town hall session to allow community members to voice their opinions on what they would like to see in a bond proposal. 

“I’m willing to have these tough conversations so I would hope that some other people that are actually in charge would be willing to have them with us, because that is what we’re looking for,” Frank said. 

The board also approved to increase substitute teacher’s pay from $90 per day to $110 to help the school stay competitive with other districts in our area.

Following the election last week, the board will stay the same with Tony Conrad, Jerome Hess, and Justin Frank retaining their seats. 

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