Three veteran administrators, who have more than 100 years of education experience among them, will retire from the Lawrence school district at the end of the school year.
Southwest Middle School Principal Trish Bransky, Free State High School Associate Principal Ted Berard and division director of human resources Bob Arevalo have announced their plans to retire on June 30.
“It is going to be a big loss for the district,” Superintendent Rick Doll said, noting that the district had been aware that all three were considering retirement.
Both Berard and Bransky have held leadership positions since their schools opened in the mid-1990s.
Bransky, who has nearly 30 years with Lawrence public schools, became principal at Southwest Middle School when the building opened in 1995 as a junior high school. Before that Bransky taught gifted education at Lawrence High School and was the assistant high school principal.
In August, Bransky was one of four principals who oversaw the transition from a junior high school to a middle school.
“I’m glad she hung around to lead us through the transition process,” Doll said. “That was an effort we worked very, very hard on. And she led the effort districtwide and obviously led the effort at Southwest.”
During Bransky’s time at Southwest, the school has earned a Governor’s Achievement Award as a top-performing school and was named an exemplary middle school by the Kansas Association of Middle School Administrators.
“She has exceptional leadership and communication skills with the public,” Doll said. “She has been an exceptional administrator.”
Berard has been at Free State High School since 1997. Before that he was a teacher, federal programs project director and assistant principal in the Turner school district in Kansas City, Kan.
At Free State, Berard focused on special education, technology and discipline.
“He does so many things behind the scenes that makes things work at Free State,” Doll said.
Arevalo also has had a long history with the school district. In 1983 he was hired as principal of Centennial School, an elementary that is now closed, and became principal at Hillcrest School in 1991. In 2001, Arevalo was named director of human resources with oversight of classified personnel. In 2010 he assumed responsibility for certified employees as well. Human resources oversees the payroll and benefits for 1,800 employees.
“He never complains, always takes on whatever we give him and completes it to the absolute best of his ability,” Doll said.
The district hopes to find replacements for each position before the school year ends.