Tonganoxie USD 464 Superintendent Kyle Hayden resigns to take job in Lawrence school district
The Tonganoxie school district will be searching for a new superintendent of schools.
USD 464 Superintendent Kyle Hayden has resigned from his post to return to the Lawrence school district.
Hayden will be the new chief operations officer in Lawrence, Rick Doll, superintendent for Lawrence Public Schools, announced Thursday.
Hayden worked as an assistant principal at Lawrence High in 2004-05.
“I’m confident that under Kyle’s leadership, the district will continue to administer operations in such a
way as to promote the overall efficiency of the school system, while maximizing student learning,” Doll said. “Kyle has a wealth of experience as an educator and school administrator. We’re pleased to have
him return to the Lawrence Public Schools as a member of our district administrative team.”
Hayden will replace Frank Harwood, who is leaving for a superintendent’s position in Bellevue, Neb., near Omaha. Julie Boyle, Lawrence district spokeswoman, said Hayden would earn $111,000 plus benefits.
Hayden said late Thursday afternoon that having the chance to return to Lawrence weighed into his decision.
“We really enjoyed Lawrence when we were there,” Hayden said. “I’ve said to other people I’ve talked to about this, we stayed connected to Lawrence for a long time.
“My wife is an alum of KU and we just have a lot of friends there and like to spend time there. It was not a hard decision necessarily from that standpoint of being comfortable with returning to Lawrence Public Schools.”
Hayden will oversee divisions of finance, human resources, facilities and maintenance, food services, transportation and technology services. The Lawrence school district employs about 1,600 teachers and is one of Lawrence’s largest employers. It’s also the seventh-largest school district in Kansas. Lawrence Public Schools serve roughly 10,600 students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12. Tonganoxie has 1,900 students in its district.
Hayden also noted it wasn’t an easy decision leaving Tonganoxie.
“It was a little gut-wrenching actually,” Hayden said. “The time I spent here. I felt like we accomplished a lot of good things and made some really important hires and moved some people into important leadership positions. I think we made a positive difference over the last few years.”
Tonganoxie school board president Diane Truesdell submitted this written statement Thursday to The Mirror regarding Hayden’s resignation:
"It is with regret that the USD 464 Board of Education announces that Mr. Kyle Hayden has submitted his letter of resignation. The Board of Education thanks Mr. Hayden for his contributions to USD 464 and wishes him well in the future."
Hayden came to Tonganoxie from Ellis, which is 15 miles west of Hays, in 2008. He was hired as assistant superintendent at an annual salary of $90,000 for that position. A year later, he was hired as superintendent when he replaced Richard Erickson, who had been superintendent since 1996. Erickson's contract was not renewed, but Erickson was moved to the newly created part-time position of special projects manager for a year before retiring.
Before working as an assistant principal at Lawrence High, He served principal in Valley Heights from 2002-04. Valley Heights is comprised of the communities of Waterville and Blue Rapids in Marshall County, roughly 40 minutes north of Manhattan. He also was an assistant principal in Granbury, Texas (2000-02), and a social studies teacher and coach in Blue Valley (1998-2000) and Cheney(1995-98).
Hayden is a 1990 Sabetha High School graduate who earned his bachelor’s degree from Tabor College, his master’s from Emporia State University and his district
leadership license from Fort Hays State University.
He and his wife, Katy, have three children.
He said his family would like to move to Lawrence within the next year, but with living in nearby Tonganoxie, has the luxury of not making a “quick move,” especially during a slow housing market.
On June 30, Hayden's contract — which included an annual salary of $106,250 — will end. He also receives compensation toward his family insurance and a $75 per month cell phone allowance.
Hayden’s final board meeting as Tonganoxie superintendent will be 6 p.m. Monday at the Tonganoxie High School library on the school's west campus.