District hires principal, accepts resignation for H.R. director
It was a week of administrative changes in De Soto USD 232. After two special morning meetings, one Wednesday and the other Friday, the district announced a new principal for Monticello Trails Middle School and accepted the resignation of director of human resources Mark Schmidt.
Brian Schwanz was confirmed as the new principal at Monticello Trails Middle School during the meeting Wednesday. Schwanz has served as the principal at Gen. Omar Bradley Elementary School in Fort Leavenworth since 2006.
“De Soto has such a great reputation,” he said. “The reputation and excellent team education and students are some of the main reasons I looked at De Soto.”
And he’s jumped in headfirst to his new position, which begins in July 1. He is already assisting in hiring a new associate principal at Monticello Trails.
The school’s current principal, Tobie Waldeck, and associate principal Matt Fedde, will be moving across the street to Mill Valley High School.
In 1995, Schwanz began his teaching career as a high school math teacher in Ruthven, Iowa. In 1998, he began teaching seventh-grade math in Ralston, Neb., where he also served as substitute principal beginning in 2002.
In 2003, he moved to Kansas and began teaching math at Basehor-Linwood Middle and High schools, before accepting the seventh grade math instructor position at Gen. George S. Patton Jr. Junior High in Fort Leavenworth.
Schwanz made the jump to administration in 2006.
“I loved teaching and students,” he said. “When the right opportunity came up, I took it. That’s what happened at Fort Leavenworth.”
Now, another opportunity to return to middle school education has presented itself.
“I’m ready to give back to the middle school,” he said. “It’s a great age group to work with.”
Schwanz said he was ready to continue quality instruction at Monticello Trails.
“I always look at continuous improvement,” he said. “Make sure the students are moving forward.”
Schwanz graduated in 1995 from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics education, a minor in physical education and a coaching endorsement.
He then attended the University of Nebraska in Omaha and received his master’s in educational administration in 2002.
Schwanz plans to finish his district level license this summer from Pittsburg State University. Next, he plans to tackle a doctorate degree.
“Education is important, not just to students but to us adults,” he said. “You should learn something new every day.”
At Friday’s special meeting, the board accepted Schmidt’s resignation as district’s director of human resources.
“Right now I just think this is the right time for myself and my family, and this is in the best interest for myself and my family,” Schmidt said. “I’ve truly enjoyed working with all of the dedicated staff in USD 232 over the past 12 years. However there does come a time when you start to look at what the next adventure is going to be, and I feel right now is that time for me.”
The board met briefly in executive session to discuss non-elected personnel. After the private session, the board voted unanimously to accept the resignation with members Janine Gracy and Randy Johnson casting their votes over the phone.
Superintendent Ron Wimmer said he appreciated all of the hard work Schmidt had done for the district and wished him the best of luck and success.
“I’ll do whatever I can to assist him in his future plans,” Wimmer said.
Schmidt began his career at the school district as principal of Lexington Trails Middle School, a job he had for nine years. In early 2007, he became the district’s director of human resources.
Schmidt said he planned working in the education field as some sort of administrator.
“Education gives meaning to my job,” he said.
Schmidt will work throughout the end of his contract, which ends in June.
Wimmer said superintendent-elect Douglas Sumner would take over for Schmidt’s duties for the 2010-2011 school year.