Lawrence School Supt. Dan Neuenswander has verbally agreed to accept a position with the Pittsburg school district, a Lawrence school district source told the Journal-World today.
Neuenswander wouldn't confirm that report, but he did say that he had been offered the job of school superintendent in Pittsburg.
Other sources in the district said they expect Neuenswander to take the job.
Neuenswander said that he notified each Lawrence school board member individually over the weekend that he had been offered the position in the southeast Kansas district. The Lawrence school board is scheduled to discuss that news at a special meeting at 7:30 p.m. today at the district's service center, 3705 Clinton Pkwy.
For Neuenswander to take the Pittsburg position, the Lawrence school board first would have to release him from a contract that runs through 1994. The board in 1990 awarded Neuenswander an unprecedented three-year contract, and they renewed that contract again in 1991.
NEUENSWANDER, 53, became Lawrence superintendent in 1984 after serving as superintendent in Bartlesville, Okla., for five years. He was superintendent at Ottawa from 1973 to 1979 and at Garnett from 1971 to 1973.
Neuenswander came to Lawrence after the retirement of Carl Knox, who was the district's superintendent for 22 years.
Board member Harriet Shaffer said this morning that the district has implemented many school improvement efforts under Neuenswander's leadership. She cited the creation of school improvement teams, in which teachers, parents and principals at each school building look for ways to enhance school offerings.
Shaffer said Neuenswander also has emphasized "assessing our results" and "working to improve education for all students."
But also during Neuenswander's tenure, the district saw the voter defeat in 1990 of a school bond issue to build a second high school.
LESS THAN three months after that, the district drew criticism for the $600,000 purchase of the former Elks Lodge building to house the district's administrative offices.
Pittsburg School Supt. Jerry Steele, 60, announced his retirement in September. Steele will have been with the district 16 years when he retires at the end of the school year.
The Pittsburg district has approximately 3,200 students districtwide and about 900 students in its one high school. Lawrence has nearly 9,000 students districtwide and about 1,800 high school students.
Steele's salary is $72,000, and Neuenswander's stands at $77,770.
The Pittsburg school board has scheduled a press conference for 3:30 p.m. Wednesday to announce who it has selected for the job.
Neuenswander already was familiar with Lawrence when he accepted the district's top administrative post nearly eight years ago. He attended New York School as an elementary student, and he earned his doctorate in education administration from Kansas University in 1972.
Neuenswander graduated from Colony High School and earned his bachelor's degree from John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark. He earned his master's degree at Pittsburg State University.