With just a handful of school days left before the end of the 2015-2016 school year, the United School District 234 Board of Education took time during the executive session of their meeting Monday to discuss the resignation of middle school principal Jim Howard.
“It was a hard decision,” said Howard, who came to Fort Scott as the principal two years ago.
Just last Thursday, Howard interviewed for a position as the superintendent of United School District 412, with about 400 students, in the city of Hoxie in west Kansas. Howard said they offered him the position the next day and he decided to accept it over the weekend.
Howard said it will be very difficult for him to leave his staff and the Fort Scott school district, which he first came to with the goal of making a positive impact on the area. But Howard said he looks forward to this new challenge of entering an even smaller community and having an impact.
“It’s something I’ve wanted in my career and it will be a new adventure,” Howard said becoming the superintendent.
USD 234 Superintendent Bob Beckham said Howard will be missed in Fort Scott, not just as the principal but as a friend he and others became close to during his two years there.
“He will be very difficult to replace,” Beckham said. “He came into our culture and was accepted very quickly for his work ethic and passion for the middle school.”
Howard’s hard work was rewarded when he was named an Exemplary Middle School Principal of the Year in recent weeks. Howard says he will strive to finish the current school year well, ending his time in Fort Scott in June and then transitioning to Hoxie where he will begin July 1.
Beckham said the school district posted the open position Tuesday morning and an interview team has been assembled as they prepare to search for a new middle school principal. Beckham said they will work as quickly as is reasonable to find a replacement who will continue as Howard did in the midst of the building projects.