DEARBORN, Mo. — Dr. Jeff Sumy delivered his letter of resignation to the North Platte Board of Education in executive session following the board’s regular meeting Nov. 19 at the district’s middle school. He will conclude his service as superintendent following the 2014-15 school year.
According to his resignation letter, the recent death of his mother and desire to spend more time with his family factored into the decision to step down.
“I have enjoyed my seven years of service to the North Platte R-I School District and feel I have always focused on the students first,” Sumy said in a statement announcing his retirement.”
Sumy, 51, joined North Platte as superintendent in 2008 after serving in the same position for the Wellington-Napoleon R-IX school district. His more than 25 years in education also includes previous stops in Oak Grove (Mo.), Bedford (Iowa), South Nodaway (Mo.), South Holt (Mo.) and Nodaway-Holt (Mo). He earned a specialist degree from Northwest Missouri State in 1999 and his doctorate from St. Louis University in 2008.
At North Platte, Sumy replaced long-serving Dr. Francis Moran as the district’s lead administrator. Moran served the district for 17 years.
The board will immediately begin its search for his replacement. Internal applicants can apply by Dec. 4, and those will be reviewed at a special board meeting Dec. 6.
Board policy dictates outside interviews are not necessary if the district identifies a qualified and suitable internal replacement.
Sumy was one of 20 applicants for the position after Moran announced his pending retirement, and he was selected for the job in December of 2007. His accomplishments at North Platte include keeping the district in the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s top accreditation level, the construction of the new intermediate school in Edgerton and the implementation of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and Response to Intervention (RTIs) to enhance student learning.
Sumy led the effort to begin drug testing students who participate in extracurricular activities in 2010. The move brought scrutiny to the district, at the time seeking a very unique policy.
“Students at North Platte High School participating in extracurricular activities are expected to demonstrate acceptable moral values and behavior, in season or out of season, in the school or in the community,” the policy in the 2014-15 North Platte R-I student handbook states.
The district’s efforts to exempt itself from Proposition C could be Sumy’s last major policy decision.
The board approved ballot language in the October regular session, set to go before voters in April, 2015. The full exemption would allow the district to collect revenues up to the voter approved ceiling of $3.7545 per $100 of assessed valuation. The district has a permanent partial Proposition C waiver in place allowing the collection of up to $3.65 per $100 of valuation.
The district operated under a full waiver from 1997-2012 after voters approved the measure with a 15-year sunset clause in 1996.