New job for Clearwater’s top educator

Mike Roth to lead schools in Leavenworth

By Travis Mounts

Clearwater USD 264 superintendent Mike Roth has accepted a new job.

Roth confirmed Tuesday that he has accepted the top job at the Leavenworth School Distirct. The Leavenworth Times reported Monday night that the Leavenworth School Board offered Roth the position as superintendent at a special meeting Monday night. The board approved the hiring 7-0.

Roth has given a verbal acceptance to the offer, although a contract still needs to be worked out.

He said it was an opportunity he could not pass up.

“It’s great for me professionally, and offers a great deal of opportunity for me and my family, too,” Roth said Tuesday afternoon.

The relocation will put them closer to the family of Roth’s wife, Julie.

“I call it the ‘mother-in-law move,’” he said. He and Julie first moved to the western Kansas town of Healy, where Roth was a physical education teacher in a district of 129 students.

“I called that a ‘mother-in-law move,’ too,” he said. “But I promised we’d get back to northeast Kansas.”

Leavenworth is a much larger school district, with about 3,900 students. That compares to 1,100 for Clearwater. The Leavenworth district has one high school, one middle school, one intermediate school and four elementaries.

Roth said he had been selectively looking. His focus was on districts with between 3,000 and 5,000 students. He had applied for a few other jobs.

He spoke warmly of his time in Clearwater.

“I’ve had eight great years. The school district is top notch and the community is second-to-none,” he said. Roth said he was glad to have had his children go to school here. Son Devin will graduate in May. Daughter Ashton is a freshman.

“I think we (USD 264) do a lot of things right,” he said when asked about Clearwater’s top accomplishments during his tenure. “The thing I’m most proud of is how we’ve kept a kids-first approach. We’ve worked to give raises and keep staff as budgets tightened. We’ve accomplished a lot on the strategic plan.

“The next superintendent to come in will have a great opportunity.”

Roth’s eight years surpass the four-to-six-year average that most superintendents stay in a job. He was superintendent at Deerfield for three years before coming to Clearwater. 

Roth will begin work at his new job on July 1. That is the standard start date for administrative contracts in Kansas.

Roth met with the Leavenworth School Board and district patrons last week on Wednesday. He was one of three finalists for the position.