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School board member resigns

3/18/2014

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

Hays USD 489 Board of Education vice president Darren Schumacher has resigned.

His resignation comes because he's relocating for his job with Carlos O'Kelly's, but he declined to say where he's moving. The Hays restaurant closed earlier this month.

Schumacher, whose term would have ended in 2015, has served on the board since 2007. He was BOE president during the 2012-13 school year and vice president for two terms, in 2011-12 and the current school year.

"I'll miss serving," Schumacher said.

The district has had a budget deficit of about $1 million, and made changes in administration in the last year.

Former superintendent Will Roth was asked by the board last summer to take early retirement, and deputy superintdent Richard Cain also retired at the beginning of the school year. Dean Katt was hired as superintendent and Tracy Kaiser as business manager to take over many of Cain's responsibilities.

"The (USD 489) staff as a whole has been nothing but professional through the changes," Schumacher said.

"It'll be very difficult to replace Darren's leadership and experience on this board," BOE President Greg Schwartz said in a news release.

In his resignation letter to the board and USD 489 staff, Schumacher said the highlight of his tenure on the board came when he was board president.

"I was able to hand out over 200 diplomas to our graduating class at Hays High," he stated.

The board is expected to formally accept Schumacher's resignation at its next meeting scheduled for March 31.

Schwartz said the board likely would elect a new vice president at that meeting.

It will take some time to select someone to fill Schumacher's seat.

According to Kansas statute, the board must appoint someone to the vacant position at least 15 days after the vacancy officially is published.

"There's no sense in delaying, but there's no rush," Schwartz said of replacing Schumacher.

Schwartz said anyone interested in the position can contact the board members or Superintendent Dean Katt for more information.

"I hope people who were considering running next year apply. There's more to do," Schumacher said.

Schumacher said he would advise his successor to remember he or she is one of seven board members.

"For the board to be successful it takes working together and listening to one another," he said.

It will take time to "make sure whoever we do get is up to speed," Schwartz said.

Schwartz praised Schumacher, saying he's done a wonderful job.

"He was a resource and sounding board for me," Schwartz said.