What is best for our students?
I have shared with my district administrative team that this is a question they often will hear me ask, as it will be a question that will guide my decision-making as the new superintendent of schools here at Maize USD 266.
Today is my first day on the job, and I wanted one of my first official tasks to be reaching out to you to introduce myself. I am a lifelong Kansan and a career educator who values integrity and is solution-oriented. You may have heard this in district communications or media coverage already, but taking the helm at Maize Schools truly is a personal and professional dream-come-true for me.
Before coming to Maize, I worked as the Moundridge Superintendent of Schools since 2009. I previously worked in Douglass as a principal and assistant principal/activities director and in Great Bend as a high school and middle school science teacher. I earned degrees from Emporia State and Fort Hays State universities and my District Level Licensure from Friends University. I am working to complete my Doctorate in Education from Wichita State University.
My wife, Drenda, is an elementary school teacher in Valley Center, and we have two college-aged children, 21-year-old Taylor and 19-year-old Garrett.
Maize Way Logo Maize is a phenomenal district with incredible potential. There are countless positive developments in the works, including the $70.7 million bond issue (please read an update about that by clicking here), nationally recognized Maize Way character education and an award-winning team of teachers. Our schools are poised for exceptional teaching and learning. We have educators attending exciting training opportunities this summer. And after several years of transition, all of our elementary schools will house kindergarten through 5th grades this year, with Maize Elementary School and Vermillion Elementary School adding 5th-grade classes.
It is an honor to become part of the district professionally and of the community personally, and with both come responsibility that I do not take lightly. I value collaboration and cohesion and want to continue to learn about the history and legacy that has made Maize Schools and the community surrounding it what it is today.
I have begun my work becoming acclimated to the district and community. I have attended meetings, gone on tours and/or met the leaders with the Maize Education Foundation, the city of Maize, the Maize Recreation Commission and the Maize Area Chamber of Commerce. I look forward to similar opportunities to meet our partners, leaders and supporters.
I want to ensure that Maize -- and its students and employees -- have great success. I aim to be fiscally responsible by striving for an efficient and strong education, not a cheap one, guided primarily by one question: What is best for our students? It will not always be an easy question to answer, but I look forward to the opportunity to seek an answer nonetheless.
Free children's story time: I will continue to be out in the community in the coming weeks and months, and I look forward to meeting many more Maize Schools parents and patrons. Please plan to join me at 10:30 a.m. July 14 at MOXI Junction, 319 S. Park in Maize. I will be a guest reader at the coffee shop/art gallery's weekly children's story time. Following the event, please visit our Summer Bookmobile, which will be parked out front as part of its July route to encourage summer reading. (You can read more about the roving library-on-a-school-bus by clicking here.)
Thank you again for your warm welcome as I join the talented team here at Maize Schools. I am eager to get started in this great district.
Chad Higgins, Superintendent of Schools