Shawnee Mission School District hires suburban St. Louis district leader as new superintendent

OVERLAND PARK — The outgoing head of a suburban St. Louis school district has been picked to lead the third largest Kansas school system.

The Shawnee Mission School District announced the selection of Mike Fulton as superintendent Monday. He comes to the nearly 28,000-student suburban Kansas City district from Pattonville Public Schools, where he previously announced he wouldn’t seek a contract extension.

Fulton replaces Jim Hinson, who was just 54 when he announced in April that he was retiring to spend more time with his family. Hinson became a lightning rod in part because of his support of former Gov. Sam Brownback’s 2015 plan to replace the school finance formula with block grants. That policy later was ruled unconstitutional.

The district is expected to play a role as lawmakers craft a new school finance formula.