In late March the Haviland Board of Education announced that two men will replace outgoing Mike Couch beginning next school year.
The board opted to split the combined USD 474 superintendent and Haviland
Grade School principal position into two part-time positions, extending offers to former USD 382 superintendent Dr. Glen Davis and current Haviland Grade School instructor Mark Clodfelter.
"He has had years of experience as a superintendent," said USD 474 Board President Jean Jones of Davis. "We thought it was good for the district. We hired him because he has so much experience and knowledge that could help Mark (Clodfelter)."
"I like the district," said Davis last week. "It's familiar to me; Mike (Couch) was a middle school principal for me when I was a superintendent in Pratt. Haviland is a very cohesive district in a strong faith-based community. I thought it was a good fit for me."
Davis will take over superintendent duties on a part-time basis for USD 474, beginning in July, replacing Couch who has accepted a position as superintendent of the Republic School District.
"They were looking for a part-time superintendent and I guess I have a belief that for smaller school districts like Haviland, it is a good option," he said. "It's a way to save dollars and put more money into the classroom. I think it's a good move for smaller districts. It can provide them with someone who has experience. I think it's the way to go."
Clodfelter, the current 8th grade Haviland Elementary School teacher, was also extended a contract that will split his duties between the classroom and the principal's office.
"We thought he was a great choice," said Jones. "He's had a lot of experience inside the district. He has a passion for the kids; everyone likes him. Everyone knows him and we thought he would be very good as our principal."
Clodfelterrecently received his principal certification. USD 474 will be his first job as principal.
The unconventional arrangement is meant to accommodate district salary limitations and to keep Clodfelter in the classroom, where he excels in science education, said Jones.
"The district values Mark's quality science instruction to the point that it was the impetus of separating the superintendent's position from the principalship," said Couch in a press release. "Mr. Clodfelter will be able to give direct attention to the principalship, while still teaching a few classes."
Davis announced his retirement from the Pratt School District in 2012, receiving his full Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) benefits, but returned following a mandatory break in service to the superintendent position at the Cunningham school district.
"It was at a time when I felt the state was really beginning to monkey with people's retirements," said Davis. "I decided to lock mine in."
Page 2 of 2 - Davis said he would continue to work as a part-time superintendent for the Cunningham district and in an "as needed" capacity as director of finance for USD 382.
Davis will also act in a mentoring role to Clodfelter, who may, in the future, assume the same responsibilities and title as Couch.
"He's going to be the go-to person for the district," said Davis. "I won't be there every day. I'll be working with him and sharing some of the experiences I have, guiding him and mentoring him in his role as a principal. He's going to be first in line for administration when people have concerns. We'll need to have a strong working relationship. Some of the issues at a district level will be issues passed on to me. We will coordinate that."