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Essdack names new director
Dr. Chad Higgins

HUTCHINSON — Dr. Chad Higgins has accepted the position of executive director at Educational Services and Staff Development Association of Central Kansas (Essdack). With 26 years in education, he has the knowledge, experience, and passion to lead the organization, Essdack officials said in a news release.

Dr. Higgins comes to the Hutchinson-based service from USD 266, Maize Unified School District, where he has been superintendent of schools since 2015. As an educational leader, his goal is to make a long-term, positive impact on other educators, educational leaders and students.

“Chad’s leadership experience in both large and small districts will be invaluable in understanding the needs of the diverse districts Essdack serves,” said Jacob Voorhies, Essdack Board president. “As the pandemic stretches into another year, his leadership and vision will help us assist schools as they address not only mental health issues but also academic recovery.”

Higgins began his career as a science teacher in USD 428, teaching at both Great Bend High School and Middle School. He then went on to serve in USD 396 as assistant principal/athletic director before becoming the Douglas High School principal. His first role as superintendent of schools was in USD 423 in Moundridge.  

“The challenge of improving an already outstanding organization while creatively rebuilding it after the challenges of a pandemic is exciting to me,” said Dr. Higgins.

His first day  as Essdack director will be July 1.

Essdack is a nonprofit education service center. It serves 61 school districts across central and western Kansas, including Ellinwood, Great Bend, St. John-Hudson, Stafford, Russell, Sterling and Otis-Bison.