Glen Davis is an organized man who develops and follows a plan, a characteristic that has served him well as superintendent for the past seven years at USD 382. Now, the plan calls for retirement, or at least partial retirement. He made that request to the Board of Education Monday night, and was granted unanimous approval.
He will step down as superintendent at the end of June and be replaced by Suzan Patton, his assistant since 2007. After 60 days off the job, as required by the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS), he will work part time for USD 382 as a business and finance consultant and part time as superintendent for the Cunningham school district. He and Patton are in the second year of an administrative partnership with USD 332.
She will not continue in the partnership, to focus on the needs of her new job. The Pratt district will begin the search for a new assistant superintendent in the near future.
When Davis was hired in 2005, voters had just approved a bond issue to build a new Pratt High School. He took the lead in bringing that plan to fruition, while also keeping property taxes stable, as promised.
Much of his focus has been on facilities — reducing the number of roofs by selling the former charter school location on Oak Street, central office and Haskins Elementary, as well as some undeveloped property. During the summer an addition was constructed at Southwest Elementary to house all the district’s children in kindergarten through fourth grades when school started this fall.
He lists other accomplishments during the last seven years: stabilizing health insurance for the district, increasing salaries and benefits for teachers during difficult economic times and providing a benefit package for classified staff.
During his tenure, every high school student has been issued a laptop computer and seventh graders have the opportunity to participate in competitive change. Security has been improved by contracting with a canine detection service and installing cameras at all buildings. Zerger Field has been lighted up with the latest technology.
Many grade levels earned Standard of Excellence for both reading and math on state assessments, and both Liberty Middle School and Haskins Elementary School earned building-wide excellence.
In all, he shared a list of 16 accomplishments with the Board on Monday.
“It doesn’t feel like you’re making that much progress until you reflect back,” he commented.
Davis feels that he has done the job he was hired to do.
“A new Board has a new focus to improve instruction and assure our graduates are prepared for what they will see in the world,” he said. “The selection of Suzan as superintendent shows that direction. It will be a smooth transition.”
Davis started his education career as a band director in Ellis in 1974. After eight years in the classroom, including four in his hometown of Lincoln, he decided he “wanted to get rich,” and became an insurance salesman. Within six months, he was substitute teaching, and after a year away from full-time teaching, he came back to education, earned a master’s degree, then administrative certification, and in 2000, his doctorate, while working in several school districts, including one year as elementary principal at Skyline School.
Page 2 of 2 - Davis has a new list of plans beginning next September.
He wants to restore 1952 and 1938 Desoto sedans that are currently stored in a garage and buy a fixer-upper house, restore and resell it.
He is active in mission work to secure children’s books and sewing machines to ship to developing countries and a deacon at First Southern Baptist Church.
Davis is also a quilter, a skill he learned when he and his first wife took a class in 1993. He has made quilts for benefits, including the Southwest Carnival, and now has work for sale at Frog Hollow. In the past, he would make a quilt for someone who had been important in his life, such as a college professor, write a poem and mail it off as a surprise.
Davis’ three sons all graduated from different high schools in Kansas, the youngest one from Pratt High. They have located in Seattle, Wash., Hastings, Neb., and Wichita. Partial retirement will allow more time for visiting them, as well as former exchange students in Germany.
A widower when he came to Pratt, Davis married Joy Kahmeyer five years ago, after her retirement as a Pratt High English teacher.