Centre hires Peabody grad

News editor

Centre school board had offered a contract to Wilson schools principal Brian Smith to be the district’s new superintendent.

The board was to officially ratify the contact at a rare 5:30 a.m. meeting today. If all goes according to plan, Smith will succeed Jerri Kemble as kindergarten through 12th grade principal and superintendent.

Smith has Marion County roots. A 1992 graduate of Peabody-Burns High School, his parents, Bruce and Jean Smith, still live in Peabody.

That proximity to family — his wife’s parents live nearby in Andover, as well — was one of the things that drew Smith to the Centre job. He also said he was ready to move into a superintendent position after having served as a principal.

Interviewed Tuesday, Smith told the Record he likes steps Centre has taken regarding technology in recent years. He said the district was similar to Wilson in that respect, and he felt comfortable with the staff, district, and school after visiting.

Smith received a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University in 1997. He taught math and was activities and athletic director at Argonia from 1998 to 2005, when he received a master’s degree in school leadership from Friends University.

He has been principal at Wilson since 2005 and received his district-level certification from Friends in 2007.

Other finalists for the position interviewed Friday and Monday. They were Rex Bollinger, superintendent at Doniphan West; Robert Reed, principal at Anthony Elementary School; and Cherie Nicholson. Little information was available about Nicholson.

 

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