LARNED – Long-time Fort Larned school system Superintendent Jon Flint has announced his retirement from Unified School District 495. Flint will remain in his post through the end of the 2016-17 school year.
“After 14 years as the superintendent and 25 years as an administrator in the Fort Larned District, the timing was right,” he said. “This has not been an easy decision, but I feel it is the best decision for my family, myself and the district.”
“He’s been a vital part of our school district,” said Sharon Lassard, USD 495 School Board president. “We wish him well. He’s done a wonderful job for us.”
Lassard said the board has accepted Flint’s resignation and is beginning to look for a replacement. “We are pursuing the search for a high-qualified superintendent. We have engaged the KSAB (Kansas Association of School Boards) to help in this search.”
“USD 495 is a strong, stable district that I have had the privilege to lead the past 14 years,” Flint said. “With the passage of the bond, community support and involvement is at a high level.”
He was referring to the $22 million bond issue approved by district voters in 2015.
The centerpiece for Fort Larned’s $22 million school construction project that voters approved is a new prekindergarten-through-grade five school building to be built near Toles and Broadway. Fort Larned USD 495 uses five buildings for elementary education, but the space was deemed inadequate.
Fifth-graders have moved to Larned Middle School because of lack of space at the aging elementary schools. They will return to the elementary school in 2017.
At the high school, $5.1 million worth of improvements and additions, including construction of a multipurpose storm shelter and weight room/community fitness center, is planned. Technology and other updates are also in the works.
The new facilities should be ready for the 2017-18 school year.
“The district has weathered budget issues and is financially solid,” Flint said. “Reserves are in place to continue providing the quality of education that our students and community deserve.”
This, paired with a highly qualified faculty and a strong technology platform, puts the District on solid ground. “It is with that knowledge, I feel comfortable passing on the torch to new leadership,” Flint said.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to be an administrator in this district for the past 25 years,” he said. “You have allowed Linda and I to raise our family in one location, and for that we will be forever grateful.”
Fulfilling his role as superintendent has been made possible through the board’s support, trust and confidence. “It will be hard to walk away from this position, but it is time. “This has never been a job to me, but always a career and a passion,” he said. “By leaving at this time, I can leave with that passion still intact. I thank you for all you have done for my family and myself and wish you nothing but the best.”
As for the project, state aid is paying for 36 percent of the cost. There were also public donations of land and money for the projects.
Fort Larned USD 495 passed its last school bond issue 20 years ago to build Larned Middle School. A previous bond issue failed in 2008.