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District’s leadership team set for 2017-18
By Chris Strunk
Last Updated: May 18, 2017

Barring any changes this summer, the slate of principals and assistant principals for the Valley Center school district has been set for 2017-18.

The district this week hired Mary Carpenter, an assistant elementary school principal in Wichita, to be principal at Abilene Elementary.

Carpenter lives in the Valley Center school district.

Carpenter's hiring will be voted on by the school board during a special meeting May 18.

Carpenter will replace longtime Abilene Principal Mark Hoy, who was transferred to West Elementary after the principal there, Pete Bastian, was promoted to principal of the middle school.

Longtime Valley Center teacher and administrator Greg Mittman is leaving the district to be director of a special education school in Maize which opened the middle school job.

Carpenter earned a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from Wichita State University. She has been with the Wichita school district for 14 years as a middle school teacher and an elementary teacher and administrator. She was assistant principal at Colvin Elementary and is currently assistant principal at Allen Elementary.

"We're looking forward to her joining the district," Superintendent Cory Gibson said. "… She brings to the table, not just the leadership role, but a background in instruction."

Carpenter will be formally introduced to the community during a meet-and-greet from 4 to 4:30 p.m. May 18 in the library at Abilene.

Joining the middle school administrative staff as assistant principal and athletic director will be Abby Thompson, a seventh-grade English teacher in Hutchinson.

She will replace Ron Barry, who was hired in Halstead.

Thompson, a Fort Hays State University graduate, holds a master's degree in administration, also from Fort Hays. She has been a teacher since 2003.

There are no anticipated changes at the high school for 2017-18, where Jamie Lewis will remain principal, Kent Hipp and Brianna Reyes assistant principals and Caleb Smith assistant principal and athletic director.

Adelyn Soellner will remain principal at Wheatland Elementary.

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