Wichita school official named finalist for Ohio district post

An assistant superintendent for the Wichita school district is being considered for the top position at a small urban district in Ohio.

Greg Rasmussen, who oversees 30 of Wichita's 58 elementary schools, was named Wednesday as one of three finalists for the superintendent position at Middletown schools — a district of about 6,800 students between Cincinnati and Dayton.

Rasmussen said he learned about the job opening from a recruiter, and the Ohio district sparked his interest.

"I'm not necessarily looking to leave," he said. "I could stay here, too, if it doesn't work out."

Rasmussen came to the Wichita district in 2001, after serving as coordinator of technology education at the Kansas State Department of Education. He was appointed assistant superintendent in 2005.

Although much smaller than Wichita's 50,000 students, the Midtown district has similar challenges because of a comparable poverty rate — about 70 percent of students receive reduced-price meals.

Rasmussen said he applied last year for the open superintendent position in Wichita, but he wasn't named a finalist.

Wichita school board president Barbara Fuller said Wednesday she was "a little surprised" Rasmussen was applying for another job, and she said he had a good rapport with John Allison, who started as superintendent in July.

"I hope it works out for what's best for him," she said.

If Rasmussen left, Fuller said it's uncertain whether his position would be filled because of budget constraints. Alicia Thompson is also an assistant superintendent of elementary schools, and she is in charge of the other half of the schools.

The position of assistant superintendent of human resources has remained open this year. Assistant superintendents have an annual salary of $116,000.

Rasmussen said he visited Middletown earlier this month. A community forum for the finalists is set for Jan. 7. No deadline has been set for the board's final decision.