March 29, 2011
Four schools in Sedalia School District 200 will have new administrators when the 2011-12 school year begins in August.
Board of Education members accepted the retirement of Martin White, Smith-Cotton High School principal, during Monday night’s closed session.
White has served as head principal at the high school for three years. He has 31 years of experience in education, which includes years as an elementary physical education teacher, head basketball coach, assistant soccer coach and assistant principal.
White has worked in Sedalia schools for 27 years.
According to a district news release, Steve Triplett, Smith-Cotton Junior High School principal, has been named as White’s replacement.
Triplett, a 1983 Smith-Cotton High School alumnus, has worked for the district for 18 years and has been principal at the junior high for two years.
“I’m excited,” Triplett said. “I have aspired to be the head principal at my alma mater.”
Triplett, who has worked as a teacher, coach and administrator, said he is looking forward to being housed in the high school and working with the students. “I have followed the kids from middle school,” he said. “I know the students and their parents.”
Wade Norton, Heber Hunt Elementary School principal, will step into Triplett’s role as junior high principal.
Norton has served as Heber Hunt’s principal for five years. While he realized there will be a “learning curve” at the junior high school, he said he is excited for the new role.
“I’m excited to expand my knowledge base and role in administration,” Norton said.
Bill Betteridge, Horace Mann Elementary School Principal, will move over to Heber Hunt as principal.
Betteridge, who has 33 years of experience in education, came out of retirement to lead Horace Mann three years ago. Betteridge said he enjoyed working with the students and staff at Horace Mann and learning about the community surrounding the school. But, he sees the transfer to Heber Hunt as a “big compliment.”
“A new opportunity refocuses you,” he said. “I will miss the staff and students at Horace Mann but I’m excited about working at Heber Hunt.”
Todd Fraley, Smith-Cotton High School assistant principal, will assume the role of principal at Horace Mann. Fraley has served as high school assistant principal for seven years.
He said transferring to Horace Mann will be “like going back to his roots” because he spent his first year in Sedalia working at the school as a long-term substitute and eventually taking over the school’s behavioral disorder room. Fraley said he is looking forward to working with the younger students.
“I’m looking forward to expanding my career,” he said, “and getting down to the grass roots of where education begins.”
Kristee Lorenz, an assistant principal at the high school, will be moving into a federally funded position with the district. Lorenz’s new role will be Smaller Learning Communities director and district director for educational support. In her new position, Lorenz will work with the district’s counselors and oversee the at-risk and gifted programs.
“I’m very excited to be able to focus on instruction,” Lorenz said, “and continue our efforts to enhance the educational environment for our students.”
Lorenz also will assume some of the duties of Julie Dill, director of special services and federal programs, who is leaving the district to become superintendent of the Johnson County R-7 School District.
Dill also serves as director of Whittier High School.
Superintendent Harriet Wolfe said Fraley will assume Dill’s duties at Whittier along with his new role as Horace Mann principal. Wolfe said she is confident in Fraley’s ability to handle the dual role because of his experience in secondary education and the small student population at Horace Mann.
Another district move includes the transfer of Ted Suhr from his position of Smith-Cotton Junior High School assistant principal to assistant principal at the high school.
Wolfe said the multiple transfers have left junior high school and high school assistant principal positions open, which the district plans to fill before the upcoming school year. The employee moves have also resulted in a $133,000 savings to the district in salaries, she said.
Overall, Wolfe said she is pleased with the employee changes.
“I’m always looking at what new challenges my people want,” she said.