Incoming superintendent Dr. Glen Davis says the USD 474 school district appears to be in good shape and he feels a part-time administrator was the right choice.
“I like the district,” said Davis last week. “It’s familiar to me; Mike [Couch] was a middle school principal for me when I was a superintendent in Pratt. Haviland is a very cohesive district in a strong, faith-based community. I thought it was a good fit for me.”
Davis will take over superintendent duties on a part-time basis for USD 474, beginning in July, replacing USD 474 hyphenate Couch who has accepted a position with the ** school district.
“They were looking for a part-time superintendent and I guess I have a belief that for smaller school districts like Haviland, it is a good option,” he said. “It’s a way to save dollars and put more money into the classroom. I think it’s a good move for smaller districts. It can provide them with someone who has experience. I think it’s the way to go”
Davis said the first few years can be a “training ground” for new superintendents and small districts can benefit from having experienced administrators.
Experienced superintendents often require higher salaries and are unwilling to take part-time positions.
Davis announced his retirement from the Pratt School District in 2012(?), receiving his full Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) benefits, but would return following a mandatory break in service to the superintendent position at the Cunningham school district.
Cunningham’s USD *** school district has a cooperative agreement with USD 382.
“It was at a time when I felt the state was really beginning to monkey with people’s retirements,” said Davis. “I decided to lock mine in.”
Davis said he would continue to work as a part-time superintendent for the Cunningham School District and, in an “as needed” capacity, for the Pratt School District Office of Finance.
He will officially take the reigns in July, looking for places to make improvements across the district.
“I’ll look and see if there are any policies that are unique to the district. I’ll get to know the staff and get to know what their responsibilities are. I’ll get to know the community a little more and begin looking and reviewing procedures they have had in the past. I’ll see if there are things that can be done more effectively or more efficiently.”
Davis said he believes the district “appears sound,” after reviewing budgets submitted to him by the USD 474 school board and won’t make changes unless they are warranted.
Page 2 of 2 - “If there are things that are working, I don’t mess with those.”
He will also act in a mentoring role to incoming first-year principal Mark Clodfelter, who may, in the future, assume the same responsibilities and title as Couch.
“He’s going to be the go-to person for the district,” said Davis. “I won’t be there every day. I’ll be working with him and sharing some of the experiences I have, guiding him and mentoring him in his role as a principal. He’s going to be first in line for administration when people have concerns. We’ll need to have a strong working relationship. Some of the issues at a district level will be issues passed on to me. We will coordinate that.”