Lawrence school district announces interim principals for LHS and West, will conduct formal searches next school year

photo by: USD 497 contributed

Quentin Rials

The Lawrence school district has announced new leadership for Lawrence High School and West Middle School.

West Middle School Interim Principal Quentin Rials has been selected as interim principal of Lawrence High School and West Middle School Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Therese Brink Edgecomb as interim principal at West, according to a district news release. Both interim appointments, pending Lawrence school board approval, would be effective July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024.

The news release states that the district plans to post both positions in December and conduct formal principal searches, providing time for input from LHS and West students, staff and school families. More information about leadership positions at both schools is below:

Lawrence High School:

After serving two years in the position, LHS Principal Jessica Bassett resigned to accept an assistant superintendent role in the Raytown, Missouri, schools. Rials is completing his first year leading West. Superintendent Anthony Lewis noted Rials is an 1995 alumnus of LHS and previously served on the LHS administrative team as an assistant principal for four years.

“He has strong relationships in the LHS community and understands the importance of continuing to build upon those connections and further develop his leadership to support the continuous improvement of both staff and students,” Lewis said in the release.

Rials also served two years as a learning coach at West and five years as a math teacher and coach in Fort Worth, Texas. He also worked as an attorney in private practice for six years. Rials earned his bachelor’s degree at Baker University, his law degree at Washburn University and a master’s degree at the University of Kansas, where he is a doctoral candidate.

Rials said he was truly grateful for the time he spent at West and was looking forward to the opportunity to come back home to LHS in the role of interim principal.

“As a Chesty Lion, and having served LHS as an assistant principal, I know that this school is a pillar in our community,” he said. “I am very eager to return and help continue the legacy of excellence already established.”

West Middle School:

photo by: USD 497 contributed

Therese Brink Edgecomb

Edgecomb is completing her second year as West’s assistant principal and athletic director. Lewis said Edgecomb has lived and raised her two children in the West area and has strong ties to the community.

“She is passionate about working with West staff and families to support students’ academic achievement and personal development and success,” Lewis said. “During Dr. Rials’ absence due to a medical issue earlier this year, Mrs. Edgecomb stepped into the role of lead administrator and worked closely with the staff to successfully manage these additional responsibilities during a challenging time.”

Edgecomb’s prior experience includes five years as a professional development coordinator and remote learning principal in Topeka. She taught nine years at Sunset Hill and Hillcrest Elementary Schools and Liberty Memorial Central Middle School and served a year as an English language arts curriculum coordinator and teacher on special assignment in Lawrence. She also taught three years in Kansas City, Kansas, and Wichita. Edgecomb earned her bachelor’s degree from Emporia State University and a master’s at Baker University.

Edgecomb said she was honored to accept the interim principal position at West.

“I have found a home at West, serving as the assistant principal these past two years, and I am excited to be able to serve our school community in this new role,” Edgecomb said.


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