Pittsburg school board announces new PCMS principal

Jordan Meier
Morning Sun
New PCMS Principal Laura Earl

PITTSBURG, Kan. — The USD 250 Board of Education on Monday night approved promoting current Pittsburg Community Middle School Assistant Principal Laura Earl to be the school’s new principal. 

“Mrs. Earl has done a great job for the past ten years as an assistant principal, and she will continue to be a great asset to Pittsburg Community Middle School, USD #250, and the community,” USD 250 Superintendent Richard Proffitt said in a press release. 

A Pittsburg State University graduate, Earl earned her B.S. Ed. in elementary education as well as a master’s in educational leadership with an emphasis in educational technology. She began working at PCMS as the assistant principal in 2010, a position she has now held for over ten years.  In addition to teaching experience, Earl also served as the Title 1 coordinator at USD #248 in Girard for eight years.  

“Earl brings a wealth of experience in addition to her well-established relationships within PCMS,” the press release said.  

Earl will be replacing PCMS Principal Terry Smith, who is retiring at the end of the school year. Smith has been the PCMS principal since 2014. Before coming to Pittsburg, he was the principal at Parsons Middle School in Parsons for 20 years.  

 Earl will assume her new duties effective July 2021 and the search for a new assistant principal will begin immediately. 

In addition to announcing the new PCMS principal, the board also heard a proposal from Pittsburg High School Principal Kelynn Heardt about changes to the social science curriculum currently in place at the high school.  

Currently, students are required to take three credits worth of social science classes including American history, American government, world history and geography to graduate. Currently, world history and geography are each one semester, but the proposed change would eliminate the required semester of geography and make world history a full year, required course.  

“It’s kind of fixing two issues,” Heardt said. “One is that world history is a requirement, and our teachers cram it into a semester right now and [they] would really like it to be a full year credit. And the other is that it also somewhat fixes our freshmen. You know we move from middle school where everything is pretty set to a lot of choice and maneuvering, so if we lock those freshmen into that world civilization that fixes quite a few things for us.”  

The board seemed largely in support of the change and will vote on the change at its next meeting.  

The board also heard from USD 250 Chief Operations Officer Tom Stegman about needing to repave Meadowlark Elementary School’s parking lot due to standing water.  

“It's definitely time for us to repave,” Stegman said. “You have what we call spiderwebbing and fracturing of the pavement, you also have standing water so you’re starting to see some potholes.”  

The board has previously heard a bid for repaving the lot, but Stegman proposed investing more money to level the parking lot and redirect the water to avoid the current issues from happening again in the future.  

“The problem is, it’s one thing to repave, buts it's another to repave and still have standing water on pavement,” he said. “You’re going to continue to see that deteriorate faster over time.”  

Jordan Meier is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. She can be reached at jmeier@morningsun.net