OSAWATOMIE — The Osawatomie USD 367 school board voted 7-0 on Sunday, May 1, to accept Superintendent Justin Burchett’s resignation, effective June 30.

The board cast its vote after a 30-minute executive session with Burchett on Sunday afternoon.

The school board will enter into an agreement with the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB) for $4,500 and mileage expenses to assist the district with the search for Burchett’s successor.

KASB will vet the candidates and present a list of finalists for the school board to interview.

The board could be looking at hiring an interim superintendent, given the short timeline to fill the position. The new school year begins July 1.

Board member Jeff Dorsett said he would be interested in pursuing an interim superintendent to give the board an opportunity to conduct a thorough search for a permanent successor.

“An interim superintendent is more likely to be someone who has experience, and possibly post retirement, that can help us out through some struggles,” Dorsett said, later adding “... as a board we need to become more functional.”

Dorsett and board president DJ Needham expressed interest in moving ahead with the search process rather than waiting until the May 9 school board meeting to discuss it further.

“I think KASB offers very good services, and I would be in favor of using their expertise because they can help us out, not only in the search, but as we have questions along the way we need to know where to turn,” Dorsett said.

Burchett said it was time for him to make a change and move on to new challenges.

“It is with great sadness that I have made this choice, but also this decision represents what is best for my personal well-being and that of my family,” Burchett said in a written statement. “The past 16 years have been a wonderful experience, and I have made many strong and lasting friendships. I will truly miss the people that I work with and hope for a strong future for the district.”

Burchett took over as superintendent three years ago at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year. Before that, he was assistant superintendent and interim principal of Osawatomie High School.

In the written statement, Burchett thanked the board for giving him the chance to serve as the district’s superintendent.

“I thank you for the opportunity to serve the community, the support you have shown me over the last three years, and the work you do for your community,” he said.

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