Last week the USD 474 School Board announced that two candidates will replace outgoing USD 474 hyphenate Mike Couch beginning next school year. The school board opted to split the combined USD 474 superintendent and Haviland Grade School principal position into two part-time positions, extending offers to former USD382 superintendent Dr. Glen Davis and current Haviland Grade School instructor Mark Clodfelter.
The school board interviewed three candidates for superintendent, which will now become a part-time job, choosing Davis, a former Pratt and current Cunningham School District superintendent.
“He has had years of experience as a superintendent,” said USD 474 Board President Jean Jones. “We thought it was good for the district. We hired him because he has so much experience and knowledge that could help Mark [Clodfelter].”
Davis, according to his official LinkedIn page, also works in the Pratt High School’s Office of Finance, received his bachelor’s degree in music education from Bethany College and received his master’s degree in educational administration from Fort Hays State University. In 2000 he received his doctorate degree at Wichita State University.
Davis became the superintendent of USD 382 in 2005 on the heels of a successful Pratt High School bond initiative to build new facilities. He is credited with a wide range of successes during his seven-year tenure and was awarded full retirement benefits after leaving the district in 2012.
He has also worked in the Ellis, Lincoln and Skyline School Districts in various capacities.
Clodfelter, the current 8th grade Haviland Elementary School teacher, was also extended a contract that will split his duties between the classroom and the principal’s office.
“We thought he was a great choice,” said Jones. “He’s had a lot of experience inside the district. He has a passion for the kids; everyone likes him. Everyone knows him and we thought he would be very good as our principal.”
Clodfelter, the only person interviewed for the principal job, recently received his principal certification.
USD 474 will be his first job as principal.
The unconventional arrangement is meant to accommodate district salary limitations and to keep Clodfelter in the classroom, where he excels in science education, said Jones.
“The district values Mark’s quality science instruction to the point that it was the impetus of separating the superintendent’s position from the principalship,” said Couch in a press release. “Mr. Clodfelter will be able to give direct attention to the principalship… while still teaching a few classes.”
Clodfelter is a Haviland resident and teaches tennis at the Kiowa County High School. His wife Diann Clodfelter is a 5th grade teacher at Haviland Grade School.
Page 2 of 2 - “It’s a shame to have to lose someone like Mike [Couch] because he’s an incredible guy and he is so informed on all of the issues that face a principal,” said Clodfelter. “For me personally, it’s a perfect situation. We have great teachers and the school system is fantastic. I think I have a good relationship with the school board. I’m really looking forward to working with everybody in a place where I understand their values and I know the expectations. It’s ideal for me.”
The school board began looking to replace Couch in January of this year after he accepted a vacant superintendent position with the Republic County School District.