Hickman Mills School District leaders must reapply for current jobs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Hickman Mills School District is again facing dramatic changes as more than 20 senior administrators, principals and assistant principals were told their contracts would be terminated at the end of the school year.

Newly-hired superintendent Dennis Carpenter is having all the employees in these leadership positions reapply for their own jobs.

But some district employees are choosing to leave, instead.

Ruskin High Principal Chad Ryerson is heading to the North Kansas City School District after 15 years with Hickman Mills.

Principal Jan Davis with Hickman Mills Middle is leaving after three decades.

And Smith-Hale Principal Jermaine Wilson is heading to Kansas City Public Schools after a very productive two years.

Since he took the top job at the preparatory academy, the number of fights have been cut in half, and PTA membership is up 1200 percent.

"When you are in this type of transition, you want to make some changes," Wilson said. "I just hope that there are not so many changes that the system is thrown out of whack."

The changes come in what's already been a turbulent year for the district, which has had four superintendents in the last ten months.

"Most will struggle with one superintendent in a school year, so the transition between four can be very unsettling," Wilson said.

Wilson is looking forward to his new opportunity, but he says others may have trouble finding a new job so late in the year.

"If the district does not move swiftly, it will be very difficult especially for administrators to find other opportunities," he said.

All the employees have the option of reapplying for their jobs, and would compete against other internal and external applicants.

The superintendent would need to have the school board's approval before filling the positions. His next opportunity to seek approval will be at the next board meeting on May 23.

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