Board of Education names Dr. Cory Gibson new superintendent

Gibson will officially replace current superintendent Dr. Frank Harwood starting July 1, 2023

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Mill Valley News staff

The USD232 board of education announced its decision to offer Dr. Cory Gibson the superintendent position Wednesday, March 29. The position is pending formal approval by the board and the appointment would be effective July 1, 2023. Gibson will replace current superintendent Dr. Frank Harwood who announced his retirement in October 2022.

According to a statement issued by the district, the announcement concludes a five month search that included 21 applicants, three finalists and hours of interviews. 

In the statement, board president Ashley Spaulding said the process was a true collaboration between the community and the board.

“Naming a superintendent is one of the most important decisions a Board of Education will make,” Spaulding said in the statement. “The Board appreciates the input received from patrons throughout the search process, and values the feedback received from the groups of teachers, support staff, and administrators that met each candidate. This truly was a collaborative effort among our district community, and I could not be prouder to have Dr. Gibson as our next superintendent. The Board is confident he will provide the leadership necessary to continue moving our district forward to future success. On behalf of the Board, we are excited to welcome Dr. Gibson and his family to the USD 232 family.” 

I look forward to the opportunity to lead and grow with the USD 232 community. Its outstanding reputation, current success, and future potential make this an exciting time for the school district.

— Dr. Cory Gibson

According to the district statement, Gibson is currently the superintendent of Valley Center USD 262 in Valley Center, Kansas, just north of Wichita. He has held the position since 2012. Valley Center USD 262 serves approximately 3,300 students with nine schools in operation, including two schools located on the grounds of residential youth facilities. 

Once the board formally approves his hire, Gibson will work with Harwood and the board over the next several weeks to provide a smooth transition of leadership.

 “I am honored by the confidence placed in me by the USD 232 Board of Education,” Gibson said in the statement. “While the Valley Center School District has been home to my family for the past eleven years, and will always hold a special place in our hearts, I look forward to the opportunity to lead and grow with the USD 232 community. Its outstanding reputation, current success, and future potential make this an exciting time for the school district.”

Gibson received his bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1998; his master’s degree in school administration in 2002; his district level administration degree in 2007; and his educational specialist degree in 2009, all from Pittsburg State University. He received his doctorate in education from the University of Arkansas in 2016.

Gibson began his teaching career in 1999 at R.V. Haderlein Elementary School in Girard, Kansas. He then became principal and counselor of Roosevelt Elementary School in Miami, Oklahoma until 2003, and then transitioned to become principal of Lakeside Elementary School in Pittsburg, Kansas from 2003 to 2006. While still in Pittsburg, he then served as principal of Pittsburg Community Middle School from 2006 to 2008 and assistant superintendent of USD 250 Pittsburg Public Schools from 2008 until 2010. He was then named superintendent of USD 440 Halstead-Bentley Schools from 2010 until 2012 before moving to his current position in Valley Center.

Gibson is currently an adjunct professor of Leadership Studies at Wichita State University and Baker University, and had served as an adjunct professor of Leadership Studies at Pittsburg State University during his time in Pittsburg.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Dr. Gibson serves as a member of numerous local, regional, and state-wide organizations. He was recognized as Kansas Superintendent of the Year in 2020; Friends of Education Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force ABC Award in 2020; University of Arkansas Outstanding Doctorate Student in 2017.

Gibson was born and raised in Dodge City, Kansas. He and his wife Jennifer are parents to two children.

The statement says the school district will work with Gibson to schedule opportunities in the near future for parents, students and employees to meet the new superintendent.

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