USD 204 Board announces new superintendent
The USD 204 Board of Education Tuesday announced that it had approved and signed a two-year contract with Dan Brungardt as its new superintendent.
The announcement brings to an end an almost three-month process that began in November with Superintendent Robert VanMaren’s announcement that he would retire at the end of the school year because the board had decided not to extend his contract. Brungardt, currently an assistant superintendent with USD 428 in Great Bend, was one of four finalists chosen from 22 applicants for the position.
David Pierce, board president, made the announcement at the end of the board’s regular meeting Tuesday after a 15-minute executive session to discuss non-elected personnel. He said Brungardt’s contract would begin July 1, 2013.
Brungardt oversees operations and finance in his current role in Great Bend. That district is of similar size to USD 204 with about 3,000 students.
Brungardt began his career teaching at Hamilton Middle School in Wichita. After three years there, Brungardt moved to Great Bend, where he has spent the last 21 years. During his tenure in Great Bend, he spent three years as an elementary principal, eight years as a middle school principal, two years as the director of curriculum and instruction and the last eight years in charge of operations and finance.
District officials reported that Brungardt and his wife and three children would be moving to the Bonner Springs / Edwardsville area this summer.
The Kansas Association of School Boards assisted the district in its search for a new superintendent, beginning in December with community meetings seeking input on what characteristics the new superintendent should have. This information was used to narrow the applicants down to finalists.
The district Friday revealed the names of the four candidates it had interviewed for superintendent. In addition to Brungardt, the finalists were:
• Rex Bollinger, current superintendent for the Doniphan West School District (USD 111)
• Dr. Brian Biermann, current assistant superintendent for the Pittsburg School District (USD 250)
• Dr. Jeanne Stroh, current assistant superintendent for the Hutchinson School District (USD 308)
Four focus groups were formed to aide the board in its selection of a new superintendent. One was comprised of community members, parents, local business officials and members of the Bonner Springs NAACP; the other three were formed with members of the district’s certified staff, classified staff and administrative staff.
The board and all four focus groups met with the four candidates at different times of the day from 8 a.m. until roughly 8 p.m. each night on Feb. 7, 8, 11 and 12. Additionally, the board conducted a special session Feb. 13 to review and discuss all four interviews and review all of the feedback forms from the stakeholder groups.
The board then checked references and conducted a special meeting Monday, Feb. 18, in an effort to reach a consensus on Brungardt, to whom they offered a contract.
On Tuesday, Pierce and other board members thanked those in the community and on the focus groups who gave their time and input in the process.