The Comet

Lawrence set to retire after 20 years

Kristen Umbarger, Reporter

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For the fourth time in the last four years, Chanute High school will be seeing a change in administration.

After 20 years of service, Johnny Lawrence will be leaving the school to move on to new opportunities.

“I feel like we’ve done a lot of great things here at Chanute High School,” Lawrence said. “…I am going to miss the district, miss the school.”

Lawrence will be officially retiring from this district in order to take advantage of the retirement package while working to become a superintendent. In the district he has served as a driver’s education instructor, assistant principal, and principal the past three years.

He hopes to have left behind the legacy of putting students first with activities such as the Family Feast at Thanksgiving and student-based classes such as the Leadership Service in Action class.
He hopes to have fulfilled his promise “to bring more kids into the decision making process.”

He is most proud of the kids he has helped and has seen grow during his years as an administrator.

With a 94 percent graduation rate, Lawrence is proud that many students are able to stick it out and make it to graduation day.

The regrets Lawrence sees leaving the school are that he was unable to bring more STEM classes to CHS, while Project Lead The Way is a move in this direction, he wished more opportunities could have been utilized. He also wishes he could have created a greater community outreach program to see more students shadowing jobs and trades to decide what they may want to go into in life.

“There is really so much opportunity; it is really just an untapped resource,” Lawrence said.

When asked for advice that he would give to his successor, Lawrence said in that his number one advice is to listen to student input.

“Have that relationship-building opportunity… often and early.”

He said secondly, he would advise to build the same relationships with teachers and staff as they have many ideas to offer and input that can be valuable.

According to USD 413 Superintendent Richard Proffitt, the qualities being sought out in a new principal are the ability to bring parents, teachers, students, and the community together, the ability to share decisions, and the willingness to work with all of the mentioned groups of stakeholders.

Proffitt said the process to find a new principal has already begun. Four candidates went through interviews Monday from groups of students, parents, teachers and administrators.

A decision on the next principal is expected at the February board meeting.

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Lawrence set to retire after 20 years