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Leadership changes at Pawnee Heights
Brian Spencer named superintendent; Renee Buntain named K-6 principal
Brian Spencer

ROZEL — At Pawnee Heights USD 496, they are “changing the model” for the upcoming 2021-22 school year. They will have a new superintendent of schools and a new principal for the K-6 elementary grades.

The change comes in as the new superintendent will work half time and the new principal at the elementary level will fill a position that last year was accomplished on a part-time basis.

Brian Spencer

The new superintendent, Brian Spencer, brings 19 years of experience as a superintendent to the job. He retired in 2020, after five years at Central Heights, but after a year of trying other things, found that he missed the school experiences and decided to work again on a part-time or temporary basis. That level of participation was exactly what the Board of Education at Pawnee Heights was wanting and needing. 

Spencer plans to spend Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in the District Office in Rozel but admits, “This whole thing is changeable. We are changing the model of how things have been done but we are open to changing to what is needed at the time.” He also stated, “Of course, things come up and I will have to adjust to what is needed but we all learned over the past couple of years, due to COVID, that a lot can be accomplished with Zoom meetings and other remote methods.”

Previous to retirement, Spencer was the superintendent at Central Heights USD 288 in Richmond for five years and before that was the superintendent for 11 years at Lyndon.

Renee Buntain

The new principal of the K-6 elementary is Renee Buntain of Great Bend. She comes to Pawnee Heights with 31 years of experience in the education field, most of it in the elementary levels. For the past two years she worked for the Kansas Department of Education, serving western Kansas in MTSS Literacy training. She has a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction.

These changes at Pawnee Heights will make the education process more “kid focused,” Spencer said. “We are excited about these new things for Pawnee Heights and look forward to a great year.”

Returning this year is Mark Pywell, 7-12 Principal.