Archive for Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tonganoxie school superintendent resigns his post, takes job in Lawrence

June 9, 2011, 3:30 p.m. Updated June 9, 2011, 6:58 p.m.


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.


Norma Jeane Baker 6 years, 11 months ago

Any reason given? A new job on the horizon? A soon-to-break scandal? Just couldn't handle the job? Wife won the lottery?

C'mon, Shawn, give us something of substance.

kolisach 6 years, 11 months ago

Did you read the article - he took a job with the Lawrence school district.

rumor_man 6 years, 11 months ago

He was using his twitter account the wrong way.

Jake Dale 6 years, 11 months ago

This past April, a school bond issue was voted down that would have, among other things, built a new "intermediate" elementary school that would have addressed huge overcrowding issues in the existing old building. The opposition was "loud", and consisted largely of our anti-growth/ anti-progress population aged 65 and up. That and low voter turnout indicated to me that Tonganoxie is comfortable with being a dying little town, literally and figuratively.

I can't speak for the man, but I guess he got out while the gettin' was good!

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 11 months ago

Dying little town? I guess you haven't looked around lately--alot of us just want to keep it a low tax and high progress area--doing this by thinking through some of these bond issue ideas and doing it in a less costly way. I think that is the conservative approach to continuing the progress that our community has already made. Tonganoxie is a wonderful low tax community let's keep it that way!

jesse499 6 years, 11 months ago

When you start talking about thinking through bond issues Lawrence people get confused.

Jake Dale 6 years, 11 months ago

By the way, anyone want to buy a lovely home in beautiful Tonganoxie? Hit me up.

KU_cynic 6 years, 11 months ago

A loss for Tongie but a gain for Lawrence?

Or another example of USD 497 not being very ambitious about leadership hires?

formerfarmer 6 years, 11 months ago

So how much is his new slary in Lawrence?

tongiehawk 6 years, 11 months ago

Kyle Hayden is going to do a great job in Lawrence. Tonganoxie will sorely miss him. Best wishes, Kyle.

Steve Jacob 6 years, 11 months ago

Does seem odd, about the same money for a lesser position, granted in a bigger district. On paper, you have to think he was the most qualified.

xclusive85 6 years, 11 months ago

Actually, I happen to know that he was not the most qualified applicant. There was an applicant with 15+ years experience as a superintendent, 18 years experience as a principal, and a PhD. Among other things, this particular applicant handled negotiations with his teacher's unions instead of passing that onto a chief operations officer. This person did not even get an interview because he was "over qualified".

I don't want to take anything away from Mr. Hayden. I am sure he will do a great job for our schools here in Lawrence, but assuming he was the most qualified would be a mistake.

Kontum1972 6 years, 11 months ago

he left "tongie" because he was suppose to know the words to dueling banjos and could not play it on the swineharp blind-folded...and he refused to wear bibs to all social functions...and he did not have drooling problem...LoL!

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 11 months ago

guess he just wasn't comfortable around a more conservative community wanted to go over to the little blue liberal island in Lawrence? I'll keep those banjos playing and keep the traditional values home-fires burning.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 11 months ago

The hiring of Kyle Hayden is the most welcome breath of fresh air injected into the Lawrence School District for years. He did a tremendous job at Lawrence High School during the short time he served as assistant principal there a few years back. Congratulations to Mr. Hayden and his family, and to our school district on making an excellent decision.

oneday 6 years, 11 months ago

I am not sure where you people get off critizing Tonganoxie. Tonganoxie is a wonderful small town full of amazing people. There is so much to this town that many of you probably don't know. I was born and raised in this town. I moved to Lawrence for some time and thought it was the worst place on earth. The people are rude, to many college kids, gangs in the elementary schools etc, that I moved back HOME to Tonganoxie. Mr. Hayden had a choice to stay here and follow through with everything that he has implemented or leave and start over. That was his choice not ours. In my opinion, they are cutting so much from school budgets but yet we can pay our Superintendent over $100,000 a year but can't take some of that money and use it towards our children and their education. Maybe it was better that he left.

And to Kontum1972.....we DON"T all wear bibs around here, we DON"T have drooling problems, and we don't all play banjos. Maybe you should come visit our small town for yourself and see. Don't be an ass and critize before you know your facts.

Kontum1972 6 years, 11 months ago

i dont like being profiled when i was in your town....quote.--u aint from these parts are ya? legal term: "racial profiling"

and i just stopped in to buy something from the grocery store in your town, and this has happened more than whats that all about?

and i was born in kansas city, ks and a decorated vietnam veteran...

salad 6 years, 11 months ago

Oh goodie....another educrat making six figures to do.....what? I'd like the district to provide a reason why there even needs be a chief of operations. But hey! Nice for him, since there's no other job in the universe he could get that makes six figures with the skill set an educrat has. Suck at teaching? Can't do anything else? Don't worry! You can make BANK in educational administration! No students, no liability, no meaningful job metrics, and fat cash on the tax payers back.

deskboy04 6 years, 11 months ago

Tongie is a nice place and I think they have a really good school district. It sounds like Lawrence got a good person to fill the position.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 11 months ago

There's jobs in Lawrence,?? Where? How? Who's hireing??

jhawkinsf 6 years, 11 months ago

You're screwed if the job requires you to spell "hiring" correctly.

kansanjayhawk 6 years, 11 months ago

I hope they will hire a supt. who place a high value on character education of our kids. Bringing values and morals back into our schools should be the highest priority. The biggest mistake we have made in the past two decades in American education is removing God and the Bible and prayer from our schools. We need to simply defy the rulings of some of these courts and go forward as the founders of this nation would have insisted. Read the Northwest Ordinance and you will see the vision of our founders and the importance of religion and morals to our children. Only when we focus on family values and character education again will our schools recover to be what they should be.

hujiko 6 years, 11 months ago

“Don’t pray in my school and I won’t think in your church.”

Reuben Turner 6 years, 11 months ago

money talks!! i just hope his does right by his position!

purplesage 6 years, 11 months ago

Liked Lawrence when he lived there before, stayed connected, like to spend time there? C'mon! Tonganoxie is about 15-20minutes away. What's that all about? He'd only been out there 3 school years.

It is a really strange time of the year for a superintendent to be resigning. Did he have a contract / or an extension? Did the Tonganoxie BOE release him from contractual obligations? They're really behind the 8-ball now, to find someone with the new school year just over 2 months out. I am not saying there aren't still qualified candidates out there who are available - but the longer the srping wears on, the harder that becomes.

He certainly didnt do Tonganoxie schools any service by bailing out in June!

jesse499 6 years, 11 months ago

Come on read almost $5000 more a year could have something to do with it.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.