4 Hannibal public school administrators to depart

hannibal schools
Both Hannibal Public School District #60 assistant superintendents and two building principals have indicated they will not be back for the 2019-20 school year.
By Danny Henley, Courier-Post Reporter
Posted: Jan. 24, 2019 8:45 am

Both Hannibal Public School District #60 assistant superintendents and two building principals have indicated they will not be back for the 2019-20 school year.

The announcement was made during last week's Hannibal Board of Education meeting. Assistant superintendents Maria Mundle and Darin Powell will retire after this semester. Also retiring is Karen Wheelan, principal at Mark Twain Elementary School. Kyle Gibbs, principal at A.D. Stowell Elementary School, has taken a job with another Missouri school district. All four administrators will remain at their posts through the end of the current school year.

The process of finding replacements has already begun. The administrative openings have been posted since the start of the winter break, Hannibal Superintendent Susan Johnson said.

"We have been getting a number of applications and for all of the positions daily," she said. "I am encouraged as I read the applications and resumes of those who have submitted their intent to apply."

The application deadline for the assistant superintendent positions is Friday, Jan. 25. The application period closes for the two elementary principal positions on Friday, Feb. 1. Interviews for all four administrator positions will take place the beginning of February.

While the departure of so many administrators at one time is significant, it is not unprecedented. "Over the past five years we have had several retirements, even from our administration team," Johnson said.

The retirement plans of Mundle and Powell did not come as a surprise, because district staff are often open with another about their career opportunities and intentions.

"Many of us have worked together for many years, and we have grown to be close as both co-workers and friends," Johnson said. "We have always spoken openly about next steps for one another and all of them are dedicated to their jobs and to the entire school district. Their commitment to this district makes their decision to retire difficult for everyone, but they are fully vested in getting the most quality replacements and they will help to set them up for success in the transition."

Two interview teams made up of administrators, teachers, parents and community members will take part in the interview process. The finalist for each job will be selected by the school district's central office staff.

"My one and only goal is to hire the candidates who have the qualities, characteristics and experiences that will help move the Hannibal school district forward so we can continue to provide the best educational experience to our students," Johnson said.

Powell has been a teacher at Hannibal Middle School, an assistant principal and principal at Hannibal High School. After serving as superintendent for the Bowling Green school district, Powell returned to Hannibal and most recently has served as assistant superintendent for student services.

Mundle has been a teacher at Hannibal Middle School, principal at Stowell Elementary, director of curriculum and most recently assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.

Wheelan has been a teacher at Eugene Field Elementary and Oakwood Elementary. Most recently she has been principal at Mark Twain Elementary.

Gibbs has been principal at Stowell Elementary for the past four years. He is leaving Hannibal to become the superintendent for the Crawford County R-1 school district in Bourbon, Missouri.

Despite being a part of the Hannibal school district for the past 26 years, Johnson is not yet eligible or ready to retire.

"I still enjoy doing what I do," she said. "I have always felt blessed to be part of the Hannibal school district and will continue to make our school district the best place for kids. I am fully committed to the Hannibal school district and hope that I can provide the leadership our community needs and expects to make everyone proud of our school system."

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