State Organization Offers Superintendent Search Services

June 3, 2016 ~ Members of the Olathe Board of Education had several questions for a representative from the Kansas Association of School Boards who offered superintendent search services to the district. Doug Meockel, deputy executive director of KASB, and Brian Jordan, assistant executive director of Leadership Services at KASB, spoke during the board's regular meeting on June 2.

The statewide association offers a number of services for districts such as Olathe that are in the process of finding a new superintendent. Marlin Berry will leave the district June 30 for a superintendent position in Rogers, Ark. Pat All, who retired as Olathe's superintendent in 2010, will return July 1 as interim superintendent while the board conducts its search for a permanent leader.

Meockel and Jordan talked about the importance of the timeline in the superintendent search process, marketing the position, gathering feedback on leadership characteristics from the community and key stakeholders, the role of the search firm, the importance of transparency, among other key topics. They also talked about interview process procedures and helped answer board members' questions.

Parent Survey Results

Deputy Superintendent Alison Banikowski shared results of the recent parent survey which involved feedback from nearly 3,000 parents. Variations of this survey have been used in the district since 2000 and, although questions may change each year, the goal is always to obtain useful information for making decisions.

This year's survey included national comparison questions, inquiries about the Board of Education, questions about the district and their child's specific school(s), and transportation.

Among the findings:

  • More than 90 percent of respondents gave the district an A or B grade in five areas from a Phi Delta Kappan/Gallup Poll, and four of those five areas scored above 95 percent. District scores are much higher than national scores.
  • Ninety-four percent strongly agreed or agreed the district compares well with neighboring school districts.
  • Ninety-seven percent of respondents strongly agreed or agreed they are satisfied with the Olathe Public Schools.


  • Garmin was recognized as a business partner with the district.
  • Amrith Samuel of Mission Trail Middle School won the district spelling bee in February and competed in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. in May.
  • Nicolas Rodriguez, a recent graduate of Olathe Northwest High School, was named a U.S. Presidential Scholar.
  • Rhonda Scott, a deaf interpreter at Olathe South High School, earned her Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf certification.
  • Arbor Creek Elementary School received the 2016 Rita Blitt Kindest School Award from STOP Violence.
  • Jon Clark of Olathe North High School, Cole Trued of Olathe Northwest, and Savanna Smith of Olathe East High School placed first in the state SkillsUSA competition and will compete in the national conference later this month.
  • The Culinary Team of Bailee Cochran (Olathe North), Ashleigh Hagen (Olathe North), Kendall Michaels (Olathe Northwest), Kayla Trenary (Olathe North), and Jacob Weller (Olathe North) placed fourth in the National ProStart Culinary Championships.
  • The Olathe Northwest Technology Student Association team earned its fourth straight state championship, and nine students qualified for nationals this month.
  • Frontier Trail Middle School math teacher Scott Appell, Mission Trail science teacher Andrew Dimmett, Olathe South social science teacher Kyle Kost, Fairview Elementary School Title I reading teacher Denine Larson, Heartland Early Childhood Center school psychologist Chris Lucas, Mission Trail counselor Mark Munson, Olathe North math teacher Josh Price, Pioneer Trail Middle School math teacher Erin Richerson, Forest View Elementary School music teacher Julie Sluyter, and instructional resource teacher Drew Thomas successfully completed the district's eight-month Leadership, Experience, Advancement and Development (L.E.A.D.) Academy for potential building administrators.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved a consent agenda of routine items including meeting minutes, reports, textbooks, curriculum, Head Start plans, Kansas Association of School Boards and National School Boards Association fees for 2016-17, and student trips.
  • Approved an extension of the Health Partnership Clinic contract to provide two registered nurses at Central and Westview elementary schools to help students and families in those school communities.
  • Approved a salary reimbursement agreement with KidsTLC for 2016-17.
  • Approved a three-year diesel fuel contract as part of a bid cooperative with five other governmental agencies.
  • Approved a white paper bid to replenish the district's supply through early fall.
  • Approved a gas kiln system for Olathe West High School.
  • Approved a contract to replace heating / ventilation / air conditioning equipment at Olathe East, Central Elementary and California Trail Middle School.
  • Approved change orders in excess of $20,000 for Olathe West.
  • Accepted a bid for the gymnasium LED video display boards and scoreboards installation at Olathe Northwest and Olathe West.
  • Accepted the 2016-17 premiums / fee quotes for workers' compensation, property liability, general school liability, property / casualty, crime liability, fiduciary liability, and other liability insurance coverage.
  • Approved milk-based product and 100 percent juice bids for the 2016-17 school year.
  • Approved a plan to have all incoming freshmen and sophomores attend their newly designated high school beginning in 2017-18. Incoming juniors would also attend their newly designated high school unless they submit a transfer request to stay at their current high school. Incoming seniors would remain at their current high school for 2017-18, meaning Olathe West would open without any seniors. 21st Century Academies at Olathe West would be open to applications from freshmen and sophomores for 2017-18.
  • Approved Head Start grant applications for a cost of living adjustment for staff, and to provide an extended day and extended school year for students.
  • Received information on future action items including textbooks, instructional resources, a 3-D printer for Olathe Northwest, student trips, Head Start transportation work plan, and interlocal agreement with the Olathe Police Department to provide school resource officers for 2016-17.
  • Received the 2016 Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment update.
  • Received construction change orders for Olathe West.
  • Received the Head Start director's report for May.
  • Discussed as a board the current situation with the Kansas Legislature. The Kansas Supreme Court ruled last week that the state Legislature has not met constitutional requirements of equity in funding among school districts in the state. The Legislature has until June 30 to find a solution to the equity situation. The district is monitoring the situation closely and will communicate more once more information is available.
  • Held an executive session to discuss personnel matters and employer-employee negotiations and for consulting with an attorney. Returned from executive session to approve the 2016-17 negotiated agreement with the Olathe National Education Association.

The complete agenda and supporting documents can be found online at