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USD 489 board selects interim superintendent

8/25/2013

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

Dean Katt, former Ottawa superintendent, has accepted a contract offer to become the Hays USD 489 interim superintendent.

Katt's contract will run from Sept. 1, 2013, to Sept. 30, 2014, according to a press release.

"I'm looking forward to it very much," Katt said Friday of coming to the Hays school district.

Katt resigned in March as Ottawa superintendent, but continued to work for the district as a consultant.

"His references spoke highly of him," Board of Education President Greg Schwartz said.

Katt said he had planned to work as a consultant until this fall, then retire.

The Hays interim position looked like a challenge, he said. So after talking to staff members at the Kansas Association of School Board, he believed he had the strengths needed for the Hays job.

"It looks like retirement isn't all it's cracked up to be," he said.

He has resigned as an Ottawa school district consultant to take the Hays position.

All of the five candidates interviewed were well-qualified, Schwartz said.

The board liked Katt's leadership qualities and willingness to reach out to other entities, such as Fort Hays State University and private schools.

Katt taught school in Deerfield for seven years, and also worked as principal in Holcomb and superintendent in Scott City, according to a press release.

Katt also will be active in the community.

"We need a face of USD 489," Schwartz said.

For the first few weeks, Katt said he plans to review and "do a lot of listening."

The board told Katt "where we're going, (and) he liked our ideas," Schwartz said. "He will lead the district through the changes."

Katt is familiar with the area. He grew up in Ellis and graduated from Alma High School. He earned his bachelor's degree in education and master's degree in education administration from Fort Hays State University.

Katt plans to live with his son, Michael Katt, who is the Boy Scouts Wheatland District executive.

His wife teaches in Lawrence and won't be making the move with him at this time.

The board will take action on Katt's contract at a special meeting at 5:15 p.m Monday in the Toepfer board room at the Rockwell Administration Center, 323 W. 12th Street.

Katt plans to attend the board meeting.

The agreement could be terminated at any time by either party for any reason after May 31 upon 30 days written notice, according to the press release.