The Board of Education has unanimously voted to name Dr. Kenny Southwick as interim superintendent of the Shawnee Mission School District, effective July 1, 2017. The announcement came during a special meeting held tonight. Dr. Jim Hinson remains acting superintendent until his
June 30, 2017 retirement.
Southwick has 37 years of education experience, and is a familiar face to our community as he has served as deputy superintendent for the Shawnee Mission School District since 2014. Before coming to Shawnee Mission, Southwick served the Belton School District for 22 years, with 12 of those years as superintendent.
“I am honored and humbled the Board of Education has selected me to lead the team through this time of transition,” Southwick said. “Our focus will continue to be on our students, staff, parents and community. Great things happen every day in our classrooms. Our job is to continue to ensure every student reaches their full potential.”
Dr. Southwick graduated from William Jewell College in 1976. After working as a social studies teacher, counselor, and football and baseball coach, he moved back to his home town of Excelsior Springs to teach and coach in 1979. Coaching and counseling once again became his passion and in 1980 he became the head football coach of the Tigers. In 1985, he moved to the central office to become the director of special education.
Sara Goodburn, president of the district's board of education, said, "We believe Dr. Southwick is a visionary and will be a great leader for our staff, students and community during this time of transition. His dedication to our district over the past three years is proven. With our innovative curriculum, signature programs and state-of-the-art facilities, our district has never been stronger."
Southwick added, "Our first priority is to close a successful school year for our teachers and students. Then, in June, we plan on having a new funding formula from the state that will allow us to prepare for the next school year." Following the completion of those top priorities, the Board of Education will begin the search for a new superintendent.
Goodburn, added, "The board will engage the community to understand what our patrons want in a leader. We feel confident the district will attract top talent, so we will continue to offer the very best education possible to all students."
Anticipated Timeline for Superintendent Search
July-August – Issue Request For Proposal and select search firm.
September-October – Community engagement surveys conducted.
October – Search firm presents community survey results to board.
November-January – Superintendent candidates recruited.
February-March – Candidate Interviews conducted.
March-April – New superintendent selected.