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USD 489 superintendent will retire next year

6/30/2013

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

USD 489 Superintendent Will Roth is retiring effective July 1, 2014.

His retirement is among the personnel transactions the board of education will take action on at its meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the Toepfer Board Room at the Rockwell Administration Center, 323 W. 12th.

Roth has been with the school district for 28 years, starting as principal of then Felten Middle School in 1985. In 1992, he became assistant superintendent for curriculum.

He was named interim superintendent in September 2010 following former Superintendent Fred Kaufman's retirement. The title became permanent in November of that year. His current contract runs until June 30, 2015.

"Over the past 28 years in Hays, my wife Sharon and I have raised a family," Roth wrote in an email Friday. "She has earned two degrees from FHSU, and together we have created many fond memories with our family and friends along the way.

"I want to thank you, the parents and students, the current and previous boards, and my colleagues of USD 489 for the support and all that I have learned from you in those 28 years. I look forward to my last year with USD 489, and I am confident that the board will thoughtfully consider and select my replacement for the 2014 school year. I look forward to a successful transition with the next superintendent."

Board members became aware recently Roth had signed an assistant superintendent's contract last summer rather than his superintendent's contract that had been in force since 2011 after board vice president Greg Schwartz requested copies of contracts for central office administrators, principals and directors.

That contract didn't have the buy-out paragraph from Roth's original contract and only Roth as superintendent signs the two assistants' contracts, so his was the only signature on the contract.

A new contract was approved by the board in June for president Darren Schumacher's signature.

Schwartz also found a Jan. 15 notification date of non-renewal for principals in their contracts.

After the board approved changing to one-year contracts for principals, Roth asked on behalf of the principals for an earlier notification of non-renewal date.

"We didn't tell them to change (the date to) by Jan. 15, but it's in there," Schwartz said last week.

The board discusses contracts in February at the earliest, and acts on them in March.

The change creates self-renewing contracts unless the board acts before its policy, Schwartz said at the June board meeting.

Board attorney Bill Jeter has been asked to review all principals' and directors' contracts.

A discussion of contract policies and procedures is on the agenda for Monday's meeting.

The board also will reorganize and elect new officers, and recently elected board members Lance Bickle, Josh Waddell and Danielle Robben will take their seats. They replace outgoing members Richard Kraemer, Alan Moore and Sharon Befort.

Other items on the agenda include:

* Discussion of a policy for pre-screening potential bidders.

* Consideration of continuing membership in Schools for Fair Funding, Kansas Association of School Boards and Legal Assistance Fund.

* Various appointments, such as homeless children coordinator, public information officer, KPERS authorized representative, Title 1 representative and federal nutrition services representative.