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Pat McKernan hired as Superintendent of Schools/Elementary Principal

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The USD 429 Board of Education has announced the selection of Mr. Pat McKernan, as the new Superintendent/Elementary Principal for the school district beginning on July 1, 2016.  A two year contract was unanimously approved by the Board of Education at a special meeting held the morning of January 15.  Mr. McKernan will take the reins on July 1, 2016 after the retirement of Mr. Brian Harris at the end of the 2015-2016 school year. 


Mr. McKernan has broad educational experience as a teacher, administrator, and as an educator.  He has been Principal of Nemaha Central High School since 2001.  During his tenure Mr. McKernan was instrumental in helping to facilitate the consolidation of the Nemaha Valley and B & B school districts.  Due to this consolidation Nemaha Central High School was able to expand the curriculum, course offerings, and career and technical programs.  In 2014, the school became a 1 to 1 laptop initiative school.


From 1994 to 2001, Mr. McKernan served as Principal of Oskaloosa High School and between 1992 and 1994 he was K – 12 Principal at Elwood.  Mr. McKernan helped with the reconstruction and relocation of the Elwood Schools after the flood of 1993.  Before becoming a school administrator Mr. McKernan was a teacher at Platte County R-III School District.


Mr. McKernan holds degrees from Kansas State University and Northwest Missouri State University.  A graduate of Wathena High School, Mr. McKernan and his wife Renee have four children, three of whom are enrolled at Kansas State University and one who is a physical therapist.  Renee is an elementary school teacher in the Nemaha Central School District.


Board President Warren Grable says that Mr. McKernan emerged from a very thorough search process as the right candidate to lead the District. “The Board is certain in our choice of Mr. McKernan and confident that under his leadership USD 429 will continue to be recognized for outstanding accomplishments, to be student centered, and to be widely supported by the Troy patrons.  As a board team we feel we made the right selection to serve our students and our community.”


The Board selected two finalists from a broader pool of applicants who were interviewed by the Board of Education members.