Demitry Evancho a familiar name to many
USD 398 Board of Education President Terry Eberhard called a special board meeting Nov. 18 to review candidates for superintendent to fill the position vacated by Rex Watson. At the regular school board meeting Nov. 14, the board accepted a letter of resignation submitted by Watson.
By the end of the special meeting, the board had selected former Centre Superintendent Demitry Evancho to fill the vacant position until the end of the school year. Evancho, who spent 13 years at Centre as a principal and superintendent, has been retired for eight years.
During his retirement, he has served as interim superintendent in four school districts, steadying them through a loss of leadership and then directing the educational process until a permanent replacement could be hired.
“I am not a change agent,” Evancho said Monday afternoon in the district central office. “The vacancy existed here and Kansas law requires each district have in place a certified superintendent of schools.
“My job is to satisfy that requirement, work with the local board and all elements of the district — communities, patrons, students, educators, and staff — to maintain the educational process, and then to help make a smooth transition to a new superintendent in July.”
Evancho and his wife live at Eastshore at Marion Reservoir. A longtime Marion County resident, he is familiar with USD 398. He worked with PBES Principal Ken Parry in the past and Centre shared special education and Technology Excellence in Education Network cooperatives with Peabody-Burns.
Evancho will maintain a five–day workweek in Peabody with regular office hours.
“I’ll have to do good work here,” he said with a smile. “I am awfully close to home.
“I feel I have been successful at rural schools in Kansas, and since my retirement, I have been on record with Kansas Association of School Boards as someone who can succeed in interim situations,” he said. “I have maintained good relations in the other four districts in which I have served in that capacity.
“Basically, they ask me to come in and pick up, and then later move on,” he added. “It is my intention to work with the board to keep those things that work well and help with those challenges that arise in any district.
“I am pleased to be here. I think I have the skills and talent to help and if USD 398 can make use of my abilities, so be it. I am glad to help,” he said.
Eberhard was equally pleased to have Evancho onboard.
“He has a good on-the-job record and I am confident he will help the district complete a successful school year,” he said.
“We were lucky he was available,” Eberhard added. “With his experience and knowledge, I think he will help us find good candidates for the permanent position when it opens in the spring.”
Eberhard also complimented the board members and district staff for pulling together during the past week to keep Peabody-Burns schools on an even keel.
“With everyone’s help we were able to address the situation and reach quick resolution — one we think will help us get on with the business of education,” he said.
“I have a great deal of confidence that with Mr. Evancho at the helm, the district is headed in the right direction.”