Archive for Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Outgoing Tonganoxie superintendent to take administrative position in Topeka

Personnel positions OK’d; capital planning discussed at board meeting

March 8, 2016

Tonganoxie USD 464 Superintendent Lyn Rantz will be heading to Topeka for her next post.

Topeka Collegiate, a pre-kindergarten through eighth grade college preparatory school has hired Rantz as its new head of school starting July 1, according to a release on the school’s website.

The Tonganoxie superintendent announced recently she would be resigning, effective at the end of June, to take another job.

“I am pleased to welcome Lyn to the Topeka Collegiate community,” said Jodi Boyd, Board of Trustees president. “Throughout our interview process, Dr. Rantz consistently impressed us with her leadership capabilities, her focus and energy on continuous learning, her commitment to supporting educators and academic excellence, and her determination to ensure each student is confidently challenged.

“Her breadth of experience, together with her desire to be part of the Topeka Collegiate community, make her the best fit to take Collegiate into the future. She personifies integrity and high personal standards.”

Rantz replaces Mary Beth Marchiony, who has served as Topeka Collegiate Head of School since July 2011.

Rantz received her bachelor’s degree with a major in history and minor in business administration from Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa. She then earned her master’s in education administration from Pittsburg State University and her doctorate in educational leadership from Saint Louis University. She has 17 years of experience in education.

In Rantz’s resignation letter to the USD 464 School Board, she wrote that she’d “learned so much these last two years” as the district’s superintendent. She also praised USD 464 for having outstanding teachers, administrators, students and patrons.

“I was hired with a clear directive to focus on curriculum, instruction and assessment practices to increase student achievement,” Rantz wrote in the letter. “I believe we have successfully built a solid foundation with clear district goals, teacher-developed deconstructed standards and aligned scope and sequence documents.

“I am very proud of the work our district has begun to bring Advanced Placement courses and clearly aligned pathways within our Career and Technical Program.”

She also wrote that she was proud of the district opening the state’s largest elementary school on time and under budget.

“I am leaving the district with a larger contingency fund and a working capital improvement plan for our schools.”

Rantz joined the district before the start of the 2014-15 school year. She came to Tonganoxie from Blue Valley USD 229 in Johnson County, where she had served since 2001. She had been principal at Prairie Star Middle School in Leawood for nine years before taking the Tonganoxie position.

She agreed to a two-year contract when she came to Tonganoxie. She was given a one-year extension last year before new board members took office. Last year’s election saw two incumbents lose re-election bids. A third opted not to seek another term. In total, four new board members joined the seven-member board last summer.

Rantz is the district’s third superintendent in six years. Randy Weseman served as “interim” superintendent from 2011-14. Weseman retired as Lawrence Public Schools superintendent in 2009. He had planned to serve for a year with the district, but one year turned into three.

Weseman replaced Kyle Hayden, who left Tonganoxie to return to the Lawrence School District. He was an assistant principal at Lawrence High in 2004-05. Hayden came to Tonganoxie as assistant superintendent in 2008 and became superintendent in 2009.

Personnel recommendations

The board accepted a resignation and approved two work agreements and a new position at Monday’s board meeting.

Rita Emery resigned as Tonganoxie Elementary School student nutrition employee, while Maggie Miller was hired as a new Tonganoxie High School assistant track coach to replace Rachelle Pauly, and Rachael Schaffer was hired as a second THS assistant track coach to replace Josh Turek.

A special education job coach position also was added.

Capital needs

The school board evaluated its capital project needs for the coming years, including parking lot and roofing repair and upgrades to Beatty Field and the THS campus as a whole. For more on Monday’s discussions, go to tonganoxiemirror.com and see next week’s print edition of The Mirror.

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