You know, if I were a patron of the West Platte School District, here’s what I would be saying about last week’s hire of Dr. Mark Harpst and this week’s hire of Dr. Francis Moran as an interim superintendent tag team: “How cool is that?” Now, I realize that the West Platte super's office isn’t supposed to be a sexy rock-star job, but — given the turmoil of the past few years — how can West Platte patrons not feel a little like they won the lottery? Patrons have to feel good that their district — which teetered on the brink while the community and the Board of Education made a sandwich out of former embattled Superintendent Dr. Jerrod Wheeler — is now in the hands of two men who combined have about 40 years of experience running school districts. As we reported last week and on our front page this week, Harpst will run the district until Dec. 31; Moran will take over on Jan. 1 until next June. Harpst, as you may recall, served as West Platte super for five years before moving to Platte County, where in 13 years at the R-3 helm he presided over an unprecedented period of growth and building projects and helped turn R-3 into one of the model districts in the state. Moran, after a few years as superintendent at Keytesville, Mo., came to North Platte in 1991, where he served as super for 17 years. Moran didn’t have the same growth and construction issues to deal with that Harpst had, but there was not a more efficient, professionally-run district around than North Platte during his time there. So, basically, West Platte lured two Hall of Famers out of retirement to right the West Platte ship. This is like the Royals begging George Brett to come out of retirement to serve as hitting coach for a few months last season. Well.... on second thought, maybe that’s a bad analogy given that the Royals are one of the most pathetic hitting teams in the history of pro baseball this season. My guess is that Harpst and Moran will leave the West Platte School District in much better shape than they found it in. Harpst told me last week when his hiring became official that he felt he owed it to West Platte to help them if he could. “They gave a 35-year-old educator a shot at being superintendent,” he said. "They opened the door for me.” Tuesday, he said his first week on the job has been equal parts “extremely busy” and “a walk down memory lane.” “There's so much to do and then there’s all the people to meet and talk to — some of those folks I have known nearly all my life and haven’t seen them in a while,” he said. Harpst also said that he was fortunate that Dr. Logan Lightfoot is West Platte’s high school principal and Rebecca Henshaw is the elementary school principal. Harpst hired both when he was at Platte County. Harpst also wants patrons to know that despite the turmoil of the past few years that there are a lot of good things happening at West Platte. “I’ve seen many good things — new programs, positive changes,” he said. “The community needs to know that.” I reached Moran while he was on the golf course Tuesday afternoon. “Can you hold on a second while I go putt?” he asked. I did and when he came back on the line, he apologized, to which I replied: “Are you kidding? Please don’t apologize for being retired and playing golf. Where can I sign up?” Anyway, Moran said he was not looking for a full-time job and had not applied for any. But when he was approached about the West Platte job, he listened. “You know, Lee, when you’re in the business for a while like I was, you form relationships with people,” he said. “I had that with West Platte when I was at North Platte. I’m honored that they want me to help out. Plus, the fact that Mark is doing it is a big factor.” Amazing how things change, huh? Two months ago, pro-Wheeler school board members were ousted, Wheeler soon followed and West Platte was in a tough spot. Now, Springsteen and McCartney are booked for the upcoming year. Better get your tickets, West Platte patrons. Thanks for reading. Lee Stubbs is owner/publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by calling 858-5154. Follow him on Twitter @leejstubbs.