The issue: The Leavenworth school district's hiring of new superintendent Mike Roth, currently the superintendent of the Clearwater school district.
Our view: After weeks of discussion regarding cooperative dissolution, budget cuts and a potential school closing, the Leavenworth school district got some good news Monday by reaching an agreement with its next superintendent.
For a while, it seemed the Leavenworth school district had discovered a radical new approach to resolving educational problems — stop offering education.
We're talking, of course, of the dissolution of the Leavenworth County Special Education Cooperative and the potential closure of West Intermediate School.
One Leavenworth resident, in a letter to the editor, perhaps summarized what many were feeling about the state of the school district:
"If we do not count our extreme budget problems, the special education cooperative crisis, low teacher morale, high taxes, dismal test scores, scandals, discipline problems, incompetent administrators, and a dysfunctional school board, then we are doing OK as a school district," the resident wrote.
That's an overly cynical and harsh way to view the district in recent weeks, but it touches on an absolute truth: our school district needed something positive, a happening that hinted at better days to come.
Such a happening came Monday night.
In a unanimous decision, the School Board approved hiring Michael D. Roth, of the Clearwater School District, as its new superintendent. Roth was one of three finalists, including interim superintendent Bret Church.
More on Church momentarily.
The Leavenworth Times congratulates the School Board on its hiring and is reassured by board members' confidence in Roth to move the district forward.
The newspaper was also pleased to read Roth's comments that he plans to not only be heavily involved in the school district, but also in the community. Here's wishing our new superintendent the best, given his success is intricately tied to the education of our children.
The Leavenworth Times also thanks Church for his admirable service. Without question, Church stepped in to difficult circumstances in December, when then-superintendent Kelly Crane resigned.
Church was then left to navigate the Special Education Cooperative question, budget shortfalls, the possible West closure and day-to-day operations. We believe the interim superintendent served his district admirably.
Thank you, Dr. Church, from a grateful newspaper, and hopefully, a grateful community as well.
The newspaper also wants to encourage the community to take note, and possibly participate in, the School Board's public hearing at 6 p.m. Thursday at the administrative office, 200 N. Fourth St.
The future of West will be at the center of the public hearing.
The potential closure of the school has prompted strong feelings on both sides. It's the community's responsibility to give the School Board as much feedback as possible before making a decision that will effect the community and district for years to come.
Oh, and one more thing — go Lady Pioneers.
Good luck to our No. 1 seeded Leavenworth High School girls basketball team, as they attempt to bring home a state title at this week's championship tournament in Topeka.