DEARBORN, Mo. — North Platte Board of Education president George Hoeffner took the time to thank outgoing superintendent Dr. Jeff Sumy before the close of its regular meeting on Wednesday, June 17. Sumy, who announced his pending retirement in November to follow his seventh year as the head of the district, presided over his final meeting in charge before ceding duties to Karl Matt, who takes over July 1. “Before we adjourn, Dr. Sumy, I just want to thank you for your seven years of leadership here,” Hoeffner said. “We are a better school district for your efforts and so forth.”
Sumy oversaw several major changes to the district including the construction of the new intermediate school in Edgerton, Mo. and the passage of a full Proposition C waiver in April, which should help alleviate some recent revenue shortfalls.
In his retirement announcement, Sumy indicated that he would take the opportunity to spend more time with family.
Sumy’s 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. He joined North Platte as superintendent in 2008 after serving in the same position for the Wellington-Napoleon R-IX school district.
“I haven’t really had time to reflect on all that. There’s a lot of good people here,” Sumy said. “Surround yourself with good people and good things will happen. You’re going to make me cry, and I don’t like that. Those are all things where everyone came together and it was a combination of good things that happened.”
At the meeting, the board approved an amended 2014-15 budget to close out the district’s books on this school year as well as adopting the final 2015-16 fiscal year budget.
The new budget featuring $7.3 million in expenditures saw a marginal increase in spending — about $10,000 more than last year. Sumy said the district again anticipates a likely need for a tax anticipation note to make the bills at the end of the calendar year. Last year, the district borrowed $250,000 to ensure it could meet payroll in December. They then paid off the debt with the first installment of tax revenues received at the start of 2015.
“As we look back and looking at it, we really didn’t need the tax anticipation note,” Sumy said. “But, our No. 1 priority is paying our bills. We are projecting an increase in dollars that are coming in; it just doesn’t come in all at one time.
“We were fine. We didn’t even use the money. It was in the account, and we paid it off as soon as we could. It wasn’t touched; it wasn’t needed but it was a security blanket to help us get through November and December.”
North Platte’s adopted 2015-16 budget projects $7.6 million in revenues, which would create a small surplus. The net gain can be attributed to the Prop C money and a recent plan to scale back on staffing.