USD 329 Board Meeting | Elementary principal resigns

staff reports

At the USD 329 board of education meeting Monday night, the board accepted the resignation of  Alma Elementary School and Maple Hill Elementary School principal Galen Craghead. 

Craghead’s resignation will go into effect at the end of this semester and the position has been listed on professional and websites in the state and in the paper. 

Craghead said his next position will be as a social worker for Manhattan Middle Schools.

“My time here at Maple Hill and Alma Elementary Schools has been memorable. One of the most memorable endeavors that we took on as an elementary schools was to add a Universal Preschool to support our Special Education preschool. Additionally, I was fortunate to work with some amazing teachers and staff that have the student’s best interests in mind. I would like to thank USD 329 Board of Education, Superintendent Starnes, and the rest of the teachers and staff of Alma and Maple Hill Elementary Schools for the opportunity to serve them and the communities where we work and live,” Craghead said in an email to The Charger.

As for the his replacement, the district is already at work. “We have created a list of his duties and we plan to meet to discuss how to ensure all of them are covered until a replacement is hired,” superintendent Brad Starnes said. 

Board clerk Cheryl Zeller’s retirement was also accepted. Her position will be filled by the current transportation director, Michelle Gehrt. 

“Thank you for everything you have done for us and the organization you have brought to the office,” board member Justin Frank said. 

District Covid update

Superintendent Brad Starnes briefed the board on the current COVID situation within the school district and how the current Covid protocols are working.

The District is up to 25% to 30% absences that may or may not be related to COVID. Since the district shut down for two days last week, the junior high has had no new positive cases, although there have been some more positive cases coming Maple Hill Elementary. “We’re almost exclusively finding that (the positive Covid cases) are not from in the school,” Starnes said.

Starnes said he believes the district’s testing program is doing what it’s supposed to do, in that the testing allows students to stay in school. However, as more students require testing it becomes cumbersome and some are beginning to miss instructional time.

Starnes said he will continue meeting with Wabaunsee County health director Ray Finley to adjust quarantine and testing procedures, and that he believes it’s important to keep those decisions at the local level.

Bond update

The board discussed the possibility of a new bond at length, but in the end took no action. The board members expressed a desire to get on the same page as far as the content of the bond before moving forward.

View the full meeting here.

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