The public is invited this week to come meet the candidates on the short list to succeed Susan Myers, who is preparing to step down from the lead position for the local public school system.

The Atchison Public Schools USD 409 Board of Education has announced candidates for the new superintendent of schools. Atchison High School Principal Bryon Hanson, Assistant Superintendent Renee Scott of Garden City Public Schools USD 457 and Principal Phil Bressler of Pittsburg Community Schools USD 250 are finalists for the position.

The respective meet and greet receptions for each of the individual candidates are scheduled for 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29, Wednesday, Jan. 30, and Thursday, Jan. 31, at the Board of Education Office, 626 Commercial Street.

Board Vice President Carrie Sowers said in a press release that after Board of Education members accepted Myers’ retirement in November 2018, they contracted with Kansas Association of School Boards to conduct a superintendent search. The window for application for the position closed Jan. 17.

Brian Jordan of KASB presented the applications to board members during a special meeting Jan. 21. The candidates were selected based on the desired characteristics as developed from input gained from focus groups and a staff, parent and community survey results, Sowers said. Board members expect the new superintendent of schools will be on the job Monday, July 1.

Scott is the first candidate for a scheduled interview that is marked on the calendar for Tuesday. Scott has a total of 26 years of experience in public education and is currently in her fourth year serving USD 457. Scott taught for 10 years in Nebraska and Texas. Throughout her tenure at Garden City, she has served for six years as a school counselor and six years as the high school associate principal, in addition to the four years in her current role.

Bressler is next up on the schedule and plans to be present Wednesday. Bressler’s experience level chalks up to a 26-year total in public education that includes seven years of teaching in Kansas. He served 11 years as an assistant principal at Haysville High School, as well as eight years as principal at Paola and Pittsburg. Bressler has also served as an adjunct instructor for 10 years with Baker University.

Hanson throws his hat into the superintendent candidate ring with seven years of Atchison Public Schools experience. Hanson will interview for the top job on Thursday. He is currently in his fourth year in service as AHS principal, and previously served as principal at Atchison Middle School.

Prior to his years with USD 409, Hanson served for five years as a teacher in Kansas. For two years, Hanson served as an assistant principal at Galena High School where he additionally served two years as the principal. Hanson has served a total of 16 years in public education.

Each of the receptions will precede the interview portion of the process for the respective candidates. School board members plan to gather at 6 p.m. and then recess from the public meeting to conduct the interviews with each candidate behind closed doors. Following each respective interview, board members will return to public session for adjournment.

Throughout the course of each interview day, candidates will stick to a planned itinerary that will start at 9 a.m. with a presentation of an informational packet, a meeting with Myers, and a tour of the district with host, a former AMS Principal Jim Krone.

A tour of Atchison Elementary School tops off the morning activities. A lunch at the board office with all principals, key administrators and supervisors in the district attending is on tap. After lunch candidates will tour AMS, AHS and Central School.

While at the schools the candidates will have opportunities to meet with building principals. Following a brief personal break, it will be time for the hour long public meet and greet reception.

The district will then host a private dinner for the candidate and spouse or guest before the interview.

Mary Meyers can be reached at mary.meyers@atchisonglobenow.com.

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