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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • New school superintendent keeps students, community at the forefront

  • Leavenworth's new superintendent said there has been excitement among the people he's met in the local community.
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  • Leavenworth's new superintendent said there has been excitement among the people he's met in the local community.
    Mike Roth said people seem excited that something new is happening in Leavenworth schools.
    "People are embracing that," he said.
    Roth believes the Leavenworth School District is positioning itself to make something great happen.
    "And I'm excited to be a part of that," he said.
    Roth, 44, already has made the move to the city of Leavenworth, but he won't officially start his new duties as superintendent until Tuesday.
    He was hired in March by the Leavenworth School Board to serve as the next superintendent. The board initiated a superintendent search after Kelly Crane resigned from the job in December.
    Assistant Superintendent Bret Church has been serving as interim superintendent.
    Even though he has not officially taken over as superintendent, Roth said he has participated in things such interviews for a principal's position.
    Roth said the first thing he has to do as superintendent is try to establish a rapport with the community and district staff.
    "You have to let people know that you care," he said.
    He said his first 100 days will be critical.
    Roth said he has to get an idea of where the community wants the district to go.
    He also has to discuss goals with the School Board, communicate the information to the public and develop a plan to accomplish those goals.
    Roth said he's looking forward to working with organizations such as the Leavenworth Public Schools Education Foundation and the Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce.
    Roth said he wants to help Leavenworth grow to its potential.
    "This is a great place to be," he said.
    Roth's wife, Julie, also works in education, and she will be teaching fifth grade this coming school year at David Brewer Elementary School.
    Roth said he doesn't believe this will result in a conflict of interest because he won't serve as his wife's direct supervisor.
    "It's a thing we've done for the last 22 years ― work together," he said.
    He said it's never caused an issue.
    Roth grew up in Holcomb.
    He earned a bachelor's degree from Kansas State University and a master's degree from Newman University in Wichita. He received his superintendent certification through Fort Hays State University.
    He's working on a doctorate from Southwestern College in Winfield. He hopes this will be completed in December.
    Roth has spent his career in education in Kansas, starting in Healy. He worked there three years as a physical education teacher, coach and athletic director.
    Page 2 of 2 - He then worked for five years at Stanton County High School as a physical education teacher and coach.
    He spent two years working as a principal in Deerfield. He then served as superintendent of the Deerfield School District for three years.
    He has spent the last eight years working as superintendent of the Clearwater School District near Wichita.
    Roth said he has not worked in a district as large as the Leavenworth school system, but he said serving as the new superintendent will give him the opportunity to impact more students.
    "The commonality of all school districts should be doing what's best for kids," he said.
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