PITTSBURG — It’s official, the USD 250 Board of Education approved Richard Proffitt as new superintendent of schools for the district.
Proffitt’s contract will begin on July 1.
Proffitt is currently the Superintendent of Schools at USD 413 Chanute Public Schools.
His 27-year journey in education started as a teacher and coach in USD 200, Greeley County Schools. He then went on to USD 487 Herington Public Schools where he was a middle school social studies teacher and high school coach. After Herington he served as a middle school social science teacher and coach in Eudora.
Before going to Chanute he was the superintendent of USD 306 Southeast of Saline where he served for four years.
“Learning about it [Chanute] intrigued me, and poured in more interest of the area, then I heard about the opportunities here which are tremendous,” he said during a superintendent candidate meet and greet.
A “farm kid” from Sterling Proffitt didn’t initially intend to go into education. He changed his major three times, finally selecting education.
“I reflected back on school and a lot of teachers I had, had a profound impact in my life … I would like to do that for other people,” he said.
Similarly, he didn’t intend to become an administrator either, he was happy with being a teacher and coach, he said. However, he was encouraged by others to become a principal, and then later a superintendent.
In collaboration of the board, staff and other leaders the districts he worked excelled together making an impact on staff, students and the community, he said.
Proffitt said the districts he served has made him proud in many times and ways. For Chanute, one of these many moments was when Chanute Elementary School won the National Blue Ribbon School Award for decreasing the achievement gap of low performing students in 2016.
“Because of the tremendous amount of work staff put in — and the students — helped make that happen,” he said.
Proffitt said he believes USD 413 has “an excellent school district,” and moving to USD250 will allow him to make a larger impact in a school district. He said — as with most departures — there is a bit of sadness as he leaves the district behind.
When he starts at USD 250, Proffitt said he plans to learn as much as he can about the district — in meetings and other means, he plans to discuss with stakeholders about what is needed in the district before beginning to create new goals with the district using the information provided.
Proffitt said he intends to visible in the schools as much as possible, and is ready to learn about the community and form relationships.
When not at the board office or schools, Proffitt can be found spending time with his family, he said.
Proffitt and his wife Sherri have two children, Grady, a seminary student in Springfield, Missouri and Riley a 7th grader at Royster Middle School in Chanute.
This summer, he said, his son will be “married to a wonderful young lady,” who with his son will be nearby in Joplin, where they have intentions to plan a new church.
His daughter Riley, he said, is the most “easy going, happiest person I’ve ever met,” and is excited for the move to Pittsburg.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.