Dorathy to lead school district
After nearly a four-month search, the Baldwin Board of Education announced Paul Dorathy as the next superintendent of schools to replace the retiring James White.
The announcement was made Monday night at a special board meeting. The school board approved the contract with a 7-0 vote.
"We are very excited that Mr. Dorathy has agreed to join the Baldwin City School District team," said Lonnie Broers, board president. "The vote for Mr. Dorathy was unanimous among the board of education. We were impressed with his commitment to and support for all students, his vision and knowledge of educational issues, his collaborative management style, and the respect he has earned within the communities he served."
Dorathy is currently superintendent of schools in the South Lyon School District, which serves three communities south of Emporia. He has been there for the last eight years. He has a total of 22 years in education, with 13 of those spent in administration.
He expressed his enthusiasm for the job Tuesday afternoon.
"I am excited about the job," Dorathy said. "I feel very good that the school board has entrusted me to lead the educational system up there. I am really looking forward to getting started. I am wanting to find out more specific details about the district."
Several school board members were pleased to be able to hire Dorathy as the next superintendent.
"Mr. Dorathy's passion for and commitment to the exceptional educational experience of all students, his ability to lead by building consensus within a geographically and economically diverse district, and the positive change he has effected in his district demonstrate to the board that he is an excellent match for the Baldwin City School district and community," said Board Vice President Alison Bauer. "We look forward to building on our current success and momentum and to new opportunities for educational improvement under his leadership."
Board Member Ande Parks, who traveled to Dorathy's district along with Board Member Scott Lauridsen to interview patrons there, said he was thrilled with the choice.
"I'm extremely proud to have Paul on board with USD 348," said Parks. "He brings with him enormous integrity, experience and a profound concern for always doing what it best for kids. He has faced unique challenges in his district over the past eight years, and has met them successfully through strong team building and leadership.
"He brings particular experience in the areas of technology development, curriculum development, and overseeing facilities projects," he said. "He's going to be a great fit for our district and our community as we strive to make our district as good as it can possibly be."
Board Member Ruth Barkley also felt Dorathy was a great hire.
"I think he is going to be a wonderful asset to the district," Barkley said. "We were all very impressed when we visited his district. He will bring a lot to this district."
The Baldwin district was quite appealing to Dorathy.
"It has been a really successful district," Dorathy said. "It has some good challenges that lie ahead. But the district also has the resources to solve some of those challenges. I also like the size of the community and the district. The high school is (Class) 4A, which is really the perfect size to have."
He also said he really likes the cultural side of Baldwin.
Dorathy is in his ninth year at Southern Lyon County. He was principal at Olpe High School for one year and is now in his eighth year as the superintendent of the district.
He said he will miss his district and the people he has met.
"I've had a good run here," Dorathy said. "I have really enjoyed my time here and I have made a lot of friends. It has been a good district to me. It's now time for me to move on to bigger challenges."
Dorathy also taught science at Emporia High School for nine years. He grew up in Emporia and attended Emporia State University. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in chemistry and earth science and his Master's Degree in educational administration from ESU. He earned his superintendent certificate from Kansas State University.
The selection of Dorathy completes a comprehensive search process that began in November when White announced his retirement after seven years as superintendent.
Working with the Kansas Association of School Boards to conduct a national search, the school board collaborated with staff and community members to establish key characteristics for the district's new leader. Also, in making a final decision the board utilized valuable feedback from the administrative staff who participated in the interview process with the final candidates, according to the board.
White said he was happy the search is over, especially for the board members.
"The board put a tremendous amount of time into the search with all of the meetings they had," White said. "I think they now have a very strong candidate that will serve this district well."