USD 257 names 2017-18 superintendent


Allie Utley

Principal Stacey Fager will take the title of superintendent on July 1, 2017.

While at an open session board meeting on Monday, January 9, Jack Koehn announced his retirement from his USD 257 Superintendent position for the end of the 2016-17 school year. This left Iola High School’s principal, Stacey Fager, to take his place for the 2017-18 school year.

“As far as the position, there was an intention for Mr. Koehn to retire, and so anytime there’s a vacancy, that pops up a possibility. I did take district level classes with Mr. Grover [Iola High School’s principal from 2008-2012]. We went down to Pitt State back in 2011, so I’ve actually had district level certification for a few years now. Like anything, when you have the opportunity, you try to wait for the best situation. Then after that, moving from assistant principal to principal was just an opportunity, if Mr. Grover would’ve stayed, I probably would’ve stayed his assistant principal for a number of years.”

Fager, born in St. Paul, Kansas, attended Pittsburg State University for an undergraduate degree in biology education, then received a master’s degree at Wichita State University for educational leadership.    

“I taught science for 14 years in Towanda, Kansas, and I could’ve done that for thirty years and been very happy doing it, but I decided to get a master’s in administration. I taught for another two years, but when the opportunity came up to be an assistant principal [in Iola], it was a family decision to move from Wichita to southeast Kansas.”

“[As superintendent] I would like to offer continuity on a lot of things that we have initiated. The one-to-one initiative I think has been very positive for our district. With the pilot last year [for Chromebooks] and implementation this year, I want to keep expanding on avenues for that. Our career tech-ed has got off the ground wonderfully this first year. We are really looking forward to expanding those offerings for males and females on different avenues for students to get certifications so that they can get jobs out in the communities or surrounding areas that pay much better than minimum wage.”

As the top executive in the school district, the superintendent makes day-to-day decisions about educational programs, budget, and the use of facilities. Fager will officially hold the title of Superintendent on July 1, 2017. Instead of being in a school, he will be working at the District Office, which is located at 305 North Washington Avenue, in Iola.

“I’ve always been in a building, fourteen years as a teacher, and ten now as an assistant principal and principal. So that change to an office rather than a school will definitely be different. On the same token, I see it as a great opportunity and I’m really excited and anticipating the opportunity that being superintendent will hold,” Fager concluded.