Assistant superintendent sorry to leave so quickly

Wichita assistant superintendent Greg Rasmussen said he feels bad about leaving the district in April to start a superintendent position in Ohio.

The 30 elementary schools he oversees in Wichita will have to make tough decisions as the district faces a $25 million shortfall in next year's budget.

"The most important thing to me, there are lot of elementaries I've been working with a number of years," Rasmussen said. "There's a lot of anxiety right now, and with having another change, I am concerned."

The assistant superintendent who oversees the other 28 elementary schools, Alicia Thompson, will oversee the schools as budget cuts are decided.

When Rasmussen was selected as a superintendent candidate finalist in Middletown, Ohio, he said he hoped to finish out his contract with Wichita that ends June 30.

But he said the Middletown school board wanted him in place to help support a tax rate increase that's on the ballot in May.

"As we worked through the process, I realized they needed me to be there," said Rasmussen, who is scheduled to start with the new district on April 5.

His last official day in Wichita is April 2, but Rasmussen said he will start the transition to Ohio this month, especially during Wichita's spring break.

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.

Rasmussen earns about $120,000 a year in Wichita, and he signed the superintendent contract in Ohio with a salary of $130,000 a year.

Whether Rasmussen's assistant superintendent position will be filled next school year is still uncertain, Wichita district officials said.