Interim Superintendents View on New Hybrid Learning Model

Interim Superintendents View on New Hybrid Learning Model

Abbey Manzanares, Copy Editor

Matt Hirsch volunteered for the position of interim superintendent and now faces the challenges of COVID and if he would like to be the full-time superintendent.

“The question I have to answer myself is if this is something I want to do full time or not,” Hirsch said. “It’s a really big job and it takes a special kind of person to accomplish that.” 

The school board has spoken with the Kansas Association of School Boards in taking the next step on finding the official superintendent. If Hirsch decides that he would not like to take the position then he will go back to his previous position as associate superintendent but for now, he is safely planning the 20-21 school year.

“First we want to provide the best possible learning environment for our students and two we want to make it as safe of an environment as possible,” Hirsch said. “From there it’s about implementing your plan and tweaking it when a glitch is in it so it’s just a matter of revising.”

With the stress of COVID and the job, Hirsch is trying to find a balance between work and home life.

“When you have the balance in your life then you’re happy, your families happy, and actually your work is better because you have a full tank when you go to work,” Hirsch said. “I do a lot of home remodeling stuff and do projects my wife has dreamed up for me… The hardest thing is keeping up with emails and trying to stop responding to those early in the evening so your brain has the chance to relax and detox before you try to sleep.”

Scott Dial also experienced a job change. He moved up from Tecumseh South principal to interim associate superintendent and needed to make the mental shift of leading a school with 500 kids and 70 staff members to helping lead a district that has six schools and 600 staff members.

“There’s people in the community and staff that have various opinions and strong opinions and it’s going to be impossible to make everyone happy,” Dial said. “You just have to take their input and make the best decision possible at the time.”

The shift between leadership felt natural to many of the staff and they had faith in the people taking over the roles. 

“Every person that took over as an interim at Central Office has years of experience with the school district,” Sherri Monhollon, associate principal, said. “This is a tough year to be an educator and an even tougher year to be in a leadership position.  His ability to put people at ease will serve him well.”

Hirsch believes that he has a great team that he knows he can rely on and ask for help when needed. He keeps in contact with the previous superintendent, Dr. Martin Stessman, in order to keep the schools running smoothly.

“I talk to him probably weekly about different things just about what’s happening and how he did this and that in the past,” Hirsch said. “Sometimes it’s important to know how things were done because you want to keep that process going smoothly.”

For COVID-19 concerns he relies more on the other superintendents in the county and talks to them regularly.

“We meet regularly to discuss a lot about what we’re doing and try to get some good ideas about how to get kids back to school,” Hirsch said. 

Hirsch’s main priority is to keep the students and staff of Shawnee Heights safe during his year of the superintendency.