Tonganoxie school Superintendent Kyle Hayden has resigned his job to become chief of operations in the Lawrence school district.
He will replace Frank Harwood, who is leaving the district for a superintendent’s job in Bellevue, Neb.
“I’m confident that under Kyle’s leadership, the district will continue to administer operations in such a way as to promote the overall efficiency of the school system while maximizing student learning,” said Lawrence Superintendent Rick Doll in a written statement.
Hayden, who worked as an assistant principal at Lawrence High School in 2004-05, said late Thursday afternoon that having the chance to return to Lawrence factored into his decision.
“We really enjoyed Lawrence when we were there,” Hayden said. “I’ve said to other people I’ve talked to about this, we stayed connected to Lawrence for a long time.”
Hayden has been in Tonganoxie since 2008, when he was hired as assistant superintendent at an annual salary of $90,000. A year later, he was hired as superintendent, replacing Richard Erickson.
He and his wife, Katy, have three children.
“My wife is an alum of KU, and we just have a lot of friends there and like to spend time there. It was not a hard decision necessarily from that standpoint of being comfortable with returning to Lawrence Public Schools.”
The decision to leave Tonganoxie, however, wasn’t so easy, he said.
“It was a little gut-wrenching actually,” Hayden said. “The time I spent here, I felt like we accomplished a lot of good things and made some really important hires and moved some people into important leadership positions. I think we made a positive difference over the last few years.”
Hayden, who made $106,250 this year as Tonganoxie superintendent, is a 1990 Sabetha High School graduate who attended Fort Hays State University before graduating from Tabor College in Hillsboro with a teaching degree and Emporia State University with a master’s degree in education administration. He was superintendent at Ellis, which is about 15 miles west of Hays, before coming to Tonganoxie.
Julie Boyle, Lawrence district spokeswoman, said Hayden would earn $111,000 plus benefits.
As chief operations officer, Hayden will be responsible for overseeing the district’s divisions of finance, human resources, facilities and maintenance, food services, transportation and technology services.
Hayden will officially take over as chief operations officer effective July 1.