OSAWATOMIE — A familiar face in the halls of Osawatomie High School will take the helm as principal for the 2021-2022 school year.

The Osawatomie USD 367 school board on Monday, May 11, approved hiring Jeff White to fill the post being vacated by Ardy Dehdasht. Superintendent Justin Burchett said Dehdasht has accepted the principal’s position at Topeka West High School.

White is currently serving as the OHS assistant principal and has been in the position since 2018. Before that, he served as principal of Trojan Elementary for 13 years. He joined the Osawatomie school district in fall 2000 as a counselor at Trojan Elementary. Before coming to Osawatomie, he served as a teacher in the Ottawa and Central Heights school districts.

White earned his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Ottawa University in 1992 and his master’s in School Counseling from Emporia State University in 1999. He also completed his master’s in School Administration from Emporia State University in 2003.

In 2012, White was named president of the Kansas Association of Elementary School Principals and also served, from 2013-2018, as the Kansas representative to the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Jeff and his wife, Jodi, are the parents of a two adult children, Stephen and Savannah, and grandparents to one grandchild, Ava.

Also at its May 11 meeting, the school board approved hiring Wade Welch as OHS assistant principal for the 2021-2022 school year.

Welch is currently serving as the USD 367 assistant director of technology and OMS/OHS athletic director, a position he has held since 2019.

In 2004, Welch began his career in education as a sixth-grade teacher at Washington Elementary in Olathe. In fall 2006, Welch returned to Osawatomie as a fifth-grade teacher at Trojan Elementary. After five years as a classroom teacher, he accepted a position with the East Central Kansas Special Education Cooperative as USD 367’s gifted teacher.

Welch earned his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Pittsburg State University in 2004 and his master’s in Special Education from Fort Hays State University in 2014. He completed his Building Leadership Certificate from Fort Hays State in 2017.

Welch, who graduated from OHS in 2000, has coached baseball, basketball, football and Scholar’s Bowl for USD 367.

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