North Platte board approves merger of junior high, high school principal jobs

DEARBORN, Mo. — The North Platte Board of Education’s hiring of Karl Matt to replace retiring superintendent Dr. Jeff Sumy earlier in the month created an opening in the district’s school administration. Currently the North Platte High School principal and girls basketball coach, Matt will start his new duties July 1. The board heard the recommendation from Sumy to consolidate the junior high school and high school principal positions upon during a regular meeting held Wednesday, Dec. 17 — a recommendation that earned immediate and unanimous approval.

The two schools share a campus in Dearborn, Mo.

“We’re doing a complete search,” Sumy said. “There will probably be some internal candidates who apply, and we welcome that.”

The consolidation of the position will save the school district money in salary and benefits.

The newly created junior-senior high principal position will be advertised to outside candidates and applicants have until Jan. 10, 2015 to put in for the opening. Sumy said the deadline gives members a chance to review applicants before the board’s next meeting, scheduled for Jan. 21.

Janey Hoeffner, the current junior high school principal, must apply for the open position, as well, to receive consideration.

The board also approved a memorandum of agreement between the district and Fort Leavenworth in Leavenworth, Kan. The new policy outlines steps the district will take when handling the children of military personnel.

Sumy said there are at least seven families that live in the North Platte School District with ties to Fort Leavenworth.

“It’s something they do with a lot of schools,” Sumy said. “I read about it in another school district. It’s an opportunity for us to welcome families. We don’t necessarily know they are in the military when they come, but it allows them to realize we welcome military families and we want them to be successful. We’re actually just opening our doors saying, ‘Hey, North Platte is a good place to be. We’re not that far from the fort.’”

The agreement goes hand in hand with current policies in place within the district, but the signed memorandum creates a formal agreement between the district and the military installation.

Sumy also informed the board that the vertical lift used for Americans with Disabilities Act compliance failed its state inspection and will have to be taken out of service.

Sumy said the replacement cost could reach $20,000, exceeding the $15,000 ceiling the district can approve without seeking bids. With the bid process likely to take months, temporary options include putting in a simple lift to bring disabled persons up and down stairway between the junior and senior high schools.