• Daily Leader staff report
The USD No. 480 Board of Education approved the appointment of Paul J. Larkin to serve as the district’s Director of Human Resources and Communications at Monday’s regular meeting.
Director of Human Resources and Communications is a new position for the district.
“It is a position we’ve needed for some time,” said Lance Stout, who will take over as superintendent on June 1.
“In fact, in an assessment of the district by the Kansas Learning Network, a commission appointed by the state department of education, one of the key recommendations was a central office position dedicated to human resources and a focus on public relations,” Stout said. “With the hiring of Paul Larkin, we have fulfilled that requirement.
According to a statement released by the USD 480Administration, Larkin, the principal at Augusta High School the last eight years, is a University of Nebraska graduate, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology and competed on the track team.
Larkin began his career in education in Mason City, Iowa, where he taught industrial technology and coached football and track. During his time in Iowa, he earned a master’s degree in building level administration from Drake University.
As an administrator, Larkin has developed a reputation as a strong leader committed to academic excellence. With Larkin as principal, Augusta High School has consistently earned the Kansas State Department of Education’s Standard of Excellence.
A recipient of the Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals – Region IV, Principal of the Year in 2005, Larkin recently completed his district level leadership program through Friends University in Wichita.
“I’m very excited to join the talented and committed staff at USD 480-Liberal,” Larkin said. “I am very impressed with the work the district has done recently for their students. I am eager to be able to contribute to those efforts.”
Larkin’s wife, Mary, teaches first grade in Augusta and hopes to join the teaching staff in Liberal, as well. The couple have two children, Nolan, who will be a freshman at Liberal High School, and Megan, who will be a seventh grader.
“I look forward to working with Paul to achieve our goal of academic excellence for Liberal USD 480,” Stout added.