People from a wide area sought to become the next superintendent of the Hannibal public school district. However, when it came time to select the successor to Dr. Jill Janes, the Board of Education stayed close to home, choosing Susan Johnson, the district’s current assistant superintendent.
“We’re pleased with the selection,” said Dr. David Jackson, Board of Education president, late Wednesday afternoon.
The hire all but guarantees a smooth transition.
“Susan is familiar with everything and works very well with Dr. Janes, and will particularly on the transition,” said Jackson.
The selection of Johnson is an endorsement of the course the school district as a whole is on.
“We like the direction we are going. It’s not like we wanted to change directions,” said Jackson. “We’re not going to go to a different ‘port,’ but I’m sure we’ll make some fine course adjustments.”
One thing noted by Johnson during her interview that the “Board is very interested in is increasing our use of technology in school,” said Jackson.
Johnson is a 1994 graduate of Hannibal-LaGrange College, earning her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. She received her masters in Elementary Administration from Central Missouri State University in 2004.
Johnson served as a teacher at Eugene Field Elementary School in Hannibal for seven years before being named principal of that school in February 1999. She held that position until being selected as assistant superintendent in August 2004, succeeding Janes, who had been promoted to superintendent earlier that year.
After Janes announced her retirement in November the Board of Education hired Dr. Brent Underwood of the Missouri School Board Association as a consultant to assist in the selection process.
“He got us quite a few candidates both in state and out of state,” said Jackson. “We gave him the parameters of what we wanted in a superintendent. He narrowed the field down to a field of four really good candidates. The Board interviewed each one of those people on Saturday. We came to a final decision last night (Tuesday). Susan Johnson was our selection and the Board confirmed the decision by a unanimous vote.”
While pleased that a new superintendent has been hired, Jackson acknowledged that the Board’s work is not complete.
“It does mean now we have to select an assistant superintendent. We won’t do that immediately, but we’ll have to start working on that,” he said.