• Last modified 446 days ago (Jan. 25, 2023)


Principal tabbed as superintendent

Staff writer

A face already familiar to Marion students and the public was selected Thursday to be Marion’s school superintendent starting July 1.

Justin Wasmuth, Marion Elementary School principal since 2011, was selected out of a field of 11 applicants and three finalists for the position.

Other finalists interviewed were Shane Clark, kindergarten through 12th grade principal at Olpe, and Sean Spoonts, high school principal at Eureka.

Applications were taken from early November until Dec. 30.

Finalists were interviewed Thursday by school board members, nine school staff members, and two selected members of the public.

They included district clerk Kristi Mercer, business manager Jordan Metro, technology director Forest Barger, middle school principal Kelsey Metro, high school principal Donald Raymer, middle school teacher Julie Trapp, high school teacher Gary Stuchlik, elementary teacher Sheila Baldwin, and maintenance and custodial worker Danny Maddox.

Community members on the interview committee were Ryan Edmundson president of Marion National Bank, and Melissa Stubenhofer, former middle school principal.

Stubenhofer took candidates on tours of the school district and community.

The panel did formal interviews, then school board members took observations from panel members and made a hiring decision by 9 p.m.

Wasmuth, originally from Pierceville, is the second person in his family to graduate from high school and the first to obtain a university degree.

Inspired by his fifth grade teacher, he wanted to work in education since then.

“He’s the one who made me want to connect to education,” Wasmuth said.

As superintendent, he wants to focus on improving communication, among schools and with the community.

He also wants schools to recognize more positivity in the school system and to work on a district vision and long term goals that bring preschool through 12th grade together.

His familiarity with the district and its staff will help him, he said.

“I’m excited for the opportunity,” Wasmuth said. “I’m sure there were good candidates, and I’m very honored to get the pick, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Interim superintendent Lee Leiker’s duties will conclude at the end of June.

“I’ll be back in Colby,” Leiker said.

Last modified Jan. 25, 2023