New principal eager to start work
Tatia Shelton, an assistant principal at Garden City High School, has been hired as the next Tonganoxie High School principal.
Starting in late July, Shelton, whose official title at Garden City High is dean of students, will replace Mike Bogart as THS principal. Bogart, who has worked in the district for nine years, is retiring.
Shelton and her husband, Brad, and their two children, Brett, 8, and McKinna, 6, will move this summer to Tonganoxie.
The move will bring the family closer to Tatia's parents, who live in Warsaw, Mo. Brad's parents live in the northcentral Kansas town of Jewell.
The Tonganoxie area, as well as the quality of its school system, prompted Shelton to apply for the principal's position.
"It is an area of the state that both my husband and I have wanted to be in," Shelton said. "Being around Manhattan and then coming out to Garden City have been a change for us -- the four-hour drive that you have to make to go anywhere."
Shelton earned an undergraduate degree -- a bachelor of science in secondary education -- at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. She recently received her master's degree in educational leadership and administration from Kansas State University.
At the start of the current school year, the family moved to Garden City where Brad, who is qualified to teach K-12 physical education and health, also works at the high school. Before that, they lived in Rock Creek, near Manhattan. While there, Tatia taught high school biology for nine years.
Tonganoxie school superintendent Richard Erickson said he and board members saw strong leadership abilities in Shelton.
"She's very dynamic," Erickson said. "She's a lady that we felt was high energy, a lady that will continue to continue the new programs that Mr. Bogart has established over the last nine years and who will continue to develop new programs."
Shelton, who is 37, agreed that she's energetic.
"That's probably a big thing -- energy -- and I have kind of a vision of where education needs to go so that we're preparing our kids for their futures, not our past," Shelton said.
Her strengths, she said, lie in curriculum alignment. And, Shelton is experienced in working with schools to help them implement senior projects.
"I've heard a lot of positive things about the Tonganoxie school district and it was a real great opportunity when the job came open," she said.