PITTSBURG — Pittsburg High School’s new principal is no stranger to the district.
Kelynn K. Heardt is the current assistant principal, she’s also an 1995 alumni.
According to a release from USD 250, Heardt was selected from a field of twelve applicants which was then narrowed down to four candidates.
A community panel, teacher staff panel and administrative panel interviewed the candidates, as well as touring with student leadership. From the four final candidates, Heardt was selected for the position.
Heardt will assume her new duties July 2019.
Heardt went to USD 250 schools from kindergarten through 12th grade, starting at Lakeside, then to Eugene Fields, Pittsburg Middles School (now PCMS) and then graduated from PHS in 1995.
“I always knew growing up that I wanted to be in education,” she said.
Her parents too, were educators which may have had something to do with her career.
“I’m the product of two educators,” she said.
Throughout her years as a student at USD 250, Heardt played volleyball and received a scholarship to Pittsburg State University.
In college, Heardt actually started out studying public relations because she thought it was new and exciting, but soon found that teaching was truly her calling, she said.
“I changed my major to what I knew in my heart I needed to do, because I can’t imagine not teaching and coaching,” she said.
It was the Pittsburg school district and the community which inspired her to become a teacher, coach and then an assistant principal and now principal.
“There are so many people in this district who taught me how to love learning, who gave me the foundation to be a student leader,” Heardt said. “That was an appealing drive to have that same kind of impact in a future career choice.”
While finishing up her degree, Heardt called Coach Larry Garman, who was at that time coaching at PHS to see if there were any assistant coach positions open.  
“He gave me my first actual taste of coaching,” she said.
Heardt also began substitute teaching.
“I wanted to get my foot in the door because I really wanted to stay,” she said.
At PSU, she obtained a bachelor of science in education in communication with an English teaching minor in 2000, and a master’s in educational leadership in 2014.
When she completed her bachelor's degree Heardt had the opportunity to begin her teaching career in 2001 at the Frontenac school district where she taught English and journalism. She also became the assistant volleyball coach.
Her husband’s new job took her to Baxter Springs where she taught for 12 years and continued to coach.
Although she had moved out of the Pittsburg and Frontenac areas, she was still close to Pittsburg Schools because of summer volleyball. The summer volleyball program allowed students across several districts to play together.
In 2016, Heardt’s current position brought her back “home.”
“Any brand new thing or step forward brings a little uncertainty, but there really wasn’t that for me because I was coming back home,” she said. “I love this place, I love this community PHS is my home.”
Since the announcement that Heardt will be the new principal, she has received many words of encouragement and pride.
“It reminds me of what a big responsibility and it’s very humbling to have those experiences and know that people trust you,” Heardt said.
Heardt said she is excited to be part of the district while
“It’s a really exciting time for this district and the community,” that extends beyond passing the bond and upgrading things for our schools and communities to use.
The Block22 grant is amazing and the partnering that is going on in community and schools right now are at the height in my time in Pittsburg.”
The strategic planning process is exciting as well, she added.
“Any time you can involve stakeholders within your community and get that input, you are just adding value to your community as a whole … it’s a solid plan for our future,” Heardt said.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.