Centre superintendent takes tech job in Lawrence

Staff writer

An action that surprised many Centre school district constituents occurred May 28, when the board of education accepted the resignation of Jerri Kemble as K-12 principal and superintendent, effective June 30.

Board member Steve Jirak was opposed in the 6-1 vote. He said later that Kemble had another year left on her contract and, although not legally bound, she should have lived up to her word.

“I always think in terms of what’s best for the school district, and this wasn’t the best,” he said.

During her six years at Centre, Kemble instituted and oversaw numerous programs.

“I have had the privilege to play a part in a journey to transform a small rural school district into what it is today,” Kemble stated in her letter of resignation. “Centre Schools has not only created a transformational learning environment for students, it has become a place that people visit to get ideas for student engagement.”

Her accomplishments include integration of iPads, project-based learning, podcasting, Kansas Online Learning Program, Centre Perk, school garden, consolidating to one building, and outsourcing custodial services to a professional company.

Leadership and student teams from other schools have visited to see these ideas in action.

Thanks to the Kansas Online Learning Program, Centre’s enrollment increase was the third highest in the state last year. The program provided a new, full-time position and several supplemental teaching assignments for Centre teachers, all with no extra expense to the school district.

Kemble thanked the school board for its support in all of her endeavors, as well as the dedication of teachers and service staff.

She has accepted employment as an assistant superintendent in the Lawrence school district. She will be in charge of technology, adult learning, and career and technical education. She said with her background in counseling, she always is interested in career and technical education.

“I was not looking for a job, but this is perfect for me,” she said. “I’ll miss a lot of good people, but we’ll keep in touch.”

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