Eudora school board to pick from 3 Kansas superintendents for district’s top job

Three candidates for Eudora’s superintendent position — all of them superintendents from elsewhere in Kansas — visited the district this past week, and now it’s up to the Eudora school board to decide which of them will get the job.

During their visits, candidates Darrel Kohlman, Jason Cline and Stu Moeckel each had a daylong tour of the district’s schools, a half-hour meet-and-greet with the public and an interview with the school board in an executive session. Kohlman, superintendent of Nemaha Central school district (Seneca), visited on Wednesday; Cline, of the South Brown County school district (Horton), was on Thursday; and Moeckel, of the Madison-Virgil school district, was on Friday.

School board member Joe Hurla said he was impressed with all three candidates. He said they were in much the same position that Eudora’s outgoing superintendent, Steve Splichal, was in when he first took the job. Splichal came to Eudora after serving as the superintendent of the McLouth school district, and all of the candidates to replace him are from rural districts, as well. Splichal announced in March that he would resign at the end of the school year.

Hurla said the rural superintendents hoping to succeed Splichal might not have seen the same growth-related challenges as Eudora, a bedroom community between Lawrence and Johnson County.

“It’s true, growth will be one of the challenges for the new superintendent,” he said. “But all three candidates have dealt with significant challenges of their own.”

According to information from the Eudora district, Kohlman has served as superintendent of the Nemaha Central district since 2010. He and his wife, Paula, are graduates of Canton-Galva High School. Kohlman graduated from high school in 1984 and received a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in education administration from Emporia State University. He taught and coached at Twin Valley schools and Hillsboro before leaving the classroom in 2001 to become principal of Bucklin High School. He later served as that district’s principal for preschool through 12th grade. He was named superintendent of the Mullinville school district in 2008, a position in which he also served as principal of the district’s high school and director of its 21st century learning academy.

Cline has 19 years of experience in education, including six years as a superintendent. He is married and has a 13-year-old son and a 16-year-old daughter. In an interview posted on the Eudora schools Facebook page, Cline said he was a superintendent in a small northwest Nebraska district for “a couple” of years before taking his current position. The Atchison native said he spent seven years in the classroom as a fifth- and sixth-grade teacher and six years as an assistant principal and a principal before becoming a superintendent.

Moeckel has been superintendent of the Madison-Virgil district for the past three years. He began his education career as an industrial arts and technology teacher. After nine years in the classroom, he became the principal and athletic director of Victoria High School. He has a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s in education administration from Fort Hays State University. He will receive his doctorate this month from Wichita State University. Moeckel’s wife, Summer, is an elementary teacher with 17 years of experience, and they have three children.

The Eudora school board will meet in executive session at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the district office, 1310 Winchester Road, to further consider who will succeed Splichal. Hurla said any decision approved at the conclusion of the meeting would be made in open session.

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