Vienna High School will be loosing both its superintendent and principal at the end of this school year.
In a special board meeting Thursday evening, April 16, superintendent Edwin Shumate turned in his letter of resignation to the school board. Shumate has accepted the superintendent’s position at Cobden Unit District 17. He will take over the post July 1.
At an early school board meeting, principal Patrick Harner verbally announced his resignation. He has signed a contract as the director of the Five County Regional Vocational Center at Tamms. He too, will start his new position July 1.
Shumate was named Vienna High School superintendent in 2010. He had previously taught at Vienna Grade School and Massac County. He also has spent four years at Regional Office of Education 02.
“Cobden is a K-12 district, and this will give me experience in a K-12 system,” Shumate said. “The position came open and I feel it is time to move on.”
Harner has been at Vienna High School for 21 years, with the last seven of those serving as principal.
“I hate to leave Vienna,” Harner said, “I wish situations were different.”
The school board has begun the search process to fill both positions. They are hoping to hire one person to serve as superintendent and principal.
“The boards goal is to save taxpayers money by hiring one person to fill both positions,” school board president Steve Colson said Monday afternoon.
Colson said the board has made several attempts to realign the staff, knowing that additional state cuts were coming.
“The board plans to move rapidly through the hiring process, looking for stabilization for the students, staff and the community,” Colson added.
The deadline for applicants is April 30. The board plans to begin interviews for the position by early May.