Longtime public school district leader named interim CEO at Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence

A former leader in the Lawrence school district has been chosen to be the interim chief executive officer for the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence.

Frank Harwood, the former chief operating officer of the Lawrence public school district, began the interim leadership role at the local nonprofit on Monday. Harwood replaced Monica Dittmer, who left the organization earlier this month, according to a release from the Boys & Girls Club.

Most recently, Harwood had served as the superintendent of De Soto public schools in Johnson County. He served seven years in De Soto before retiring from the job earlier this year. Lawrence Public Schools Supt. Anthony Lewis recommended Harwood for the interim role to lead the Boys & Girls Club, which provides a variety of after-school programs for local youth.

“When Dr. Anthony Lewis brought up Dr. Harwood’s name, we instantly knew the credentials and the character he brings to the table,” Randy Glidewell, board president of the local club, said. “There is already an established team of mentors and youth development professionals at the Club. We simply wanted to provide additional support until the new CEO is hired.”

The club will run an active search for a new CEO. Harwood, who also has served as a superintendent in Bellevue, Neb. and was a science teacher at Perry-Lecompton High School earlier in his career, said he does not intend to be a candidate for the CEO position.

“My role is simply to help this organization transition,” Harwood said. “Monica was a great leader for a long time, and I have every confidence that the board will find another great leader going forward. From my previous roles with Lawrence Public Schools, I know how important Boys & Girls Club is for all of the students in the community. When I heard there was a need, I was happy to step up and do what I could.”


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