Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Happy Retirement Paul

Harrisonville School District Superintendent Paul Mensching has announced his intention to retire at the end of the 2022-23 school year. He has served as the district’s superintendent since 2018.

“I am extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve as the Superintendent of the Harrisonville School District and as an educator for 29 years in the state of Missouri. As I reflect on my career, one of my proudest moments was the community coming together to pass the levy to increase salaries for our exceptional staff and a bond issue to improve the safety and maintenance of our facilities,” said Mr. Mensching. “Throughout my career, the greatest memories that I have involve students. From the simple joy of high school students enjoying a pep assembly after a two-year hiatus, to the chance to hear about the exciting kindergarten field trips, or the celebrated success of a national proficiency award winner, I am constantly amazed at what our students can and will do. The best that we are, or hope to be, are found in our children. Thank you for the opportunity to serve them.”

During his past four years as Superintendent of the Harrisonville School District, Mr. Mensching spearheaded efforts which led to the following:

*Development and implementation of the district’s strategic plan (Blueprint)
*Passage of Props I+N, a 50 cent levy increase to provide staff salary increases, and a $22.7 million bond issue
*Bond construction including major renovations and additions at Cass Career Center, improved safety and security at multiple buildings, much-needed updates to HVAC and roofs across the district, and new elementary playgrounds
*Improved collaboration and communication with our community partners including the City of Harrisonville and the Harrisonville Chamber of Commerce
*Strong financial stewardship through declining enrollment, uncertain economic conditions, and state budget cuts
*Ensuring educational stability and student and staff safety throughout a pandemic

He was recognized by the Harrisonville Chamber of Commerce as the Individual of the Year in 2020 and by the Missouri School Public Relations Association as the Administrator of the Year in 2021.
He has served as a member of the Harrisonville Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; President of the Harrisonville Kiwanis Club; a member of the city’s Economic Development Board, Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, Mayor’s Advisory Council, and Enhanced Enterprise Zone Committee, a member of the Cass County Superintendents’ Association; a member of the Greater Kansas City Superintendents’ Association, the Missouri Association of School Administrators, and the American Association of School Administrators; and a member of the Missouri School Business Officials.
Board President Tina Graef said, “Paul Mensching is a man of integrity and honesty, and the Harrisonville School District was lucky to have a person of his caliber leading our district for the last four years. He has provided much needed consistency and transparency and was able to bring our district together in a way we hadn’t experienced in many years as a direct result of his exemplary leadership. His vision from the very beginning was to improve the culture in our buildings, increase pay to attract and retain quality, dedicated educators, and most importantly, to ensure our children receive the best education possible in an environment that is safe and allows all of them to grow and flourish. Paul has accomplished these things and so many more, effectively getting buy-in and support of the staff and the community and truly setting this district and our kids up for success. To say these have been challenging times is an understatement, yet through it all, he never lost sight of the fact that our kids come first. Always. I am privileged and honored to have worked beside him and am proud of everything he has accomplished. From his first day to his last, he is the example of making it a great day to be a Wildcat.”

Mr. Mensching has had 29 years in education. Prior to Harrisonville, he served as the superintendent in the East Buchanan C-1 School District for 10 years. He also served as the high school principal at Ralls County R-2, a social studies teacher, basketball coach, and athletic director at Monroe City R-2, and a social studies teacher and assistant football and basketball coach at Mexico.

At the Board of Education meeting last night, the Board approved a transition plan which includes hiring EGL Association to lead the search for a new superintendent which will begin in the fall.

Graef said, “The Board of Education will be using the services of EGL Association to conduct the search for superintendent over the course of several months. Dr. Todd White, a former superintendent for the Harrisonville School District, will lead the search process for EGL Association, beginning in September of 2022. He will conduct surveys in the community and with staff to determine what the expectations are for the superintendent along with direction from the board. After this information is gathered, he will advertise for the position locally and nationally. After a period of open advertisement, he will bring all qualified applications to the board and assist in the process of selection. The board will then interview the chosen candidates. Once the new superintendent has been hired, Dr. White will work with the board and Mr. Mensching to ensure the comprehensive entry plan of the new superintendent, the staff, and the community is successful.”

Mensching said, “The backbone of a great educational system are our teachers and support staff working in conjunction with supportive parents and community members. While this harmony is sometimes difficult to achieve in today’s climate, we have been able to capture that experience in Harrisonville. In order to keep that collective spirit strong, we have to strategically move forward together. I believe the succession plan approved by the Board of Education will pave the way for continued growth and improvement of our district.”

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