Superintendent search nearly finished

Thursday I wrote about how the Western Plains Unified School District 106 superintendent, Kerry Lacock, was leaving and how I was sad to see him go but wishing him all the best luck in his new endeavor.

I also mentioned the top-three candidates — Roger Stumpf (principal at Onaga High School), Josh Swartz (Andale High School assistant principal and athletic director) and Darrin Herl (Wheatland U.S.D. 292 superintendent, high school principal and elementary school principal) — were visiting the school and meeting with teachers.

After getting the opportunity to meet each of them, I have formed opinions about all of the candidates. Each had traits that would be very beneficial to this district.

So which one would I pick?

I’ll never tell. Let’s assume I want one guy and another gets hired. The hired guy reads this and sees I wasn’t rooting for him. He could make life suck for me. I’m not putting myself in that position.

I will say that I believe we will be in pretty good shape with whomever is chosen. They were all great people and prepared to continue to help lead this district forward. I look forward to working with any of them.

Tonight is the WP USD 106 Board of Education meeting. I think they might announce the new superintendent tonight, but I don’t know that for sure.

Also, tonight is a big night for me. See, I’ve been attempting to get a full-fledged journalism program started here at Western Plains High School. Tonight at the board meeting, they are going to make that decision and tell me if I will be the teacher.

I’ve got big plans for the program, and I think a journalism program would help the district immensely, especially in the way of promotion for our district and improving the academic ability of the students.

(See this presentation I gave to the board last month about the benefits of a journalism program: Bobcat Journos.)

I’m nervous but extremely hopefully I will get the position and the program will be initiated. I’m so excited by the possibility that I can barely express it in words.

It won’t be easy. The dynamic between myself and the students will have to change, but I think it will work out just fine.

And no. I currently don’t have my teaching certificate, but I’ve got a plan for that too. I’m going to enroll in Fort Hays State University‘s Transition To Teaching program. What does that mean exactly? Here is FHSU’s description:

The T2T program is designed to fill secondary teaching vacancies in school districts through an alternate route to teacher licensure. It includes the recruitment and training of mid-career professionals seeking a career change to enter the teaching profession. The T2T program uses the restricted license and has developed an on-line professional education curriculum meeting all of the Kansas Professional Education Standards.

So basically, since I already have my bachelor’s degree in communication from Wichita State University (that’s basically a journalism degree), I can become a journalism teacher via this program. Sweet deal, eh?

I’m stoked. I just hope the meeting goes my way tonight.

Additionally, they will be offering supplemental contracts tonight. That includes all the coaching contracts. I’ve got my fingers crossed I will at least get to be the assistant boys’ basketball coach again. I’ve already got the football coaching contract, and who knows what else is coming down the road.

This is an intense day. The unknown is killing me, but I’m loving every second of it.

Check back tomorrow because I will hopefully have good news to report.

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About toddvogts 843 Articles
Todd R. Vogts, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of media at Sterling College in Kansas. Previously, he taught yearbook, newspaper, newsmagazine, and online journalism in various Kansas high schools, and he ran a weekly newspaper in rural Kansas. He continues to freelance as a professional journalist from time to time. Also, Vogts is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Journalism Education Association (JEA), and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), among others. He earned his Master Journalism Educator (MJE) certification from JEA in 2022. When he’s not teaching or writing, he runs his mobile disk jockey service and takes part in other entrepreneurial ventures. He can be reached at or via his website at