After a unanimous vote of the board of education last week, the district extended a two-year contract offer to current Albany (Mo.) R-3 School District superintendent John Rinehart, who will begin work July 1, 2015 with a starting annual salary of $125,000, increasing to $127,500 in his second year.
Rinehart was one of 36 candidates for the position and one of seven candidates the board interviewed.
“We are excited to have John join our district,” said West Platte board president John Collier. “He has an extremely good reputation with parents, teachers, fellow administrators, current and former school board members.”
Collier said during interviews and conversations with people working with Rinehart in his current job and those who have worked with him in the past it became evident Rinehart is a proven leader and coordinator in addition to developing and collaborating with teams to solve problems with a focus on the future to provide the best education for all students.
“He has reputation for being honest and extremely hard working,” Collier said.
Rinehart, 46, is currently in his third year as superintendent at Albany. He has nine years of experience as a school administrator. He began his career as a science teacher and coach at the North Callaway R-1 School District, then taught science and coached football for four years in the Clinton School District before serving as head football coach for a year at Appleton City.
In 14 years in the Centralia R-4 School District, Rinehart served as science, physical education and vocational teacher, athletic director, A+ coordinator and high school principal. He currently is working toward doctorate in education from the University of Missouri.
“I’m humbled and honored to be the board’s selection as the next superintendent at West Platte,” Rinehart said. “The school district and community are highly regarded throughout the state. I will work hard to care for and build upon that legacy.”
Rinehart grew up and attended school in rural Worth County, Mo. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo., and a master’s degree and specialist’s degree from William Woods University in Fulton, Mo. His wife, Shana, is also a teacher and currently works in the Albany system.
The couple has two daughters, Raegan, 14, and Addison, 10.
Interim superintendent Dr. Mark Harpst assisted in the candidate screening process, Collier said. Harpst — a former West Platte superintendent and the retired superintendent of Platte County R-3 quickly selected as interim after the resignation of former superintendent Dr. Jerrod Wheeler in April — will serve as interim superintendent until the end of the year. During the spring semester, retired North Platte School District superintendent Dr. Francis Moran will serve as interim superintendent with Harpst consulting as needed.
The board also appointed Harpst as a special projects coordinator for a year starting in July, 2015. It will be a part-time position.
Rinehart’s hire brings to an end a saga that began at about this time last year, when the board voted not to renew Wheeler’s contract after months of tension between the administration, staff and board. The April election brought the voter’s feelings to bear with the election of board members opposed to Wheeler.
Soon after the board reorganization, Wheeler resigned amid a swirl of controversy involving accusations and hard feelings from former board members.