Special to The Gardner News
Dr. Brian Huff was named the new superintendent for the Gardner-Edgerton School District.
Board members made the announcement at the special meeting April 20.
Huff said he was very excited to be a part of the Gardner Edgerton family with their rich traditions and small town feel.
“The school district is a leader and innovator in education and is a remarkably good fit for my family and me,” he said. “I am looking forward to what we will all do together as we continue to show Johnson County and Kansas what outstanding education looks like.”
Lana Sutton, board president, said it was their great honor and pleasure to welcome Huff, they were excited to work with him and believed he was the best candidate after an exhaustive search process.
“We have complete confidence that Dr. Huff will be a great asset to the district and will work collaboratively with all stakeholders to improve our district in the future,” she said.
Tom Reddin, board vice-president, said he also shared Sutton’s sentiments about Huff’s collaborative leadership skills to unite families, staff and students in decision making.
“What most impressed the board during his interview was him asking the seven of us if we were willing to take the walk to improvement with him,” he said. “Unanimously we are very excited to walk with him as we move the district forward.”
Huff thanked the school board for a fantastic experience last week.
“Thank you for taking a chance on me,” he said. “This is a very exciting opportunity. Gardner has an amazing reputation, and we are looking forward to being part of the community.”
Huff has 29 years of education experience. He taught middle school math and science for four years and spent 25 years in school administration as an assistant principal, building and district activities director, lead principal, assistant superintendent and associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction.
Huff spent the past 15 years serving the Raytown school district and was recognized as the Missouri State High School Principal of the Year in 2013. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Southwest Baptist University, a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from the University of Phoenix and a Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Kansas.
He also spent three years with his family in Jos, Nigeria working at Hillcrest School Missionaries with the International Mission Board as a middle and high school principal.
James Sutton will remain as the current Interim Superintendent until June 30. Sutton took over the position the BOE approved a separation agreement with Pam Stranathan with payment thru June 2023 for about $425,000.
Huff will begin his role as new superintendent July 1, 2022.
He introduced his wife of 32 years and family who were in attendance. He has six children and two grandchildren.
The board had narrowed its search to three candidates who were interviewed by teams last week and participated in various activities. The final interview was held in executive session with board members.
The board and representatives from McPherson & Jacobson LLC had reviewed applicants on March 29.
The other two candidates were:
Joe Sample, superintendent of Marais Des Cygnes Valley Unified School District 456 in Melvern, Kan. He began his career for the first three years as a 7th grade social studies teacher at Wheatridge Middle School.
Jaret Tomlinson, whose career began as a high school business teacher and coach, has served in various educational roles and has a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Saint Louis University.