Towards the end of their meeting this week, following an executive session, the USD 353 Board of Education announced the hiring of a new principal at Wellington High School - Dr. Zackary Hood.


Hood is an Iowa native with Kansas roots. He was a long snapper for the University of Kansas Jayhawk football team where he received his bachelor’s degree in history in 2007. He received a master’s in athletic administration from the University of South Dakota in 2008 and he earned his doctorate in education from Oakland City University in Oakland, Indiana in 2018.


"I’m very excited and I’m not sure words begin to describe it," he said. "This is something we’ve wanted to do for such a long time, to be closer to family and friends."


Hood’s wife, Emily, is from Wichita. Hood grew up in Creston, Iowa where he was active in high school football, wrestling and throwing the shot put and discus for track and field. He graduated from high school there in 2003. The town is quite similar to Wellington in size and the layout of the high school and school colors, Hood said.


"It’s almost eerie," he said.


Hood was hired as head football coach at El Dorado High School in 2010. In more recent years, he has served as athletic director for St. Mary’s Hall in San Antonio, Texas and has served as an administrator with the San Antonio Independent School District.


He will replace John Buckendorf, who resigned as Wellington High School principal at the end of this past school year.


Other new hires for the 2020-21 school year are: Micah Rogers: Special Education teacher, WMS; Lindy Fike: FACS teacher, WMS; Brian Rossillon: Para, WHS; Teresa Steinkamp: Para; Lincoln; and Michael Cliffman: Maintenance.


In other business, the BOE was presented with a draft of the district's strategic plan and goals for discussion. The strategic plan is a 5 year document that is updated yearly to help drive the district's vision. The yearly BOE goals are created and prioritized based on the strategic plan. The BOE had the opportunity to discuss and edit these documents with direction and recommendations from the Superintendent and administration team.


The recommendation is to update these documents accordingly after BOE feedback and put the strategic plan and BOE goals on the agenda to approve in July. The approved copy of the Strategic Plan and BOE goals will be available to view on the USD 353 website once approved.


In action items, a recommendation was made for 300 Chromebooks to be purchased for the district for $74,400. A motion was made and seconded to approve the purchase of the Chromebooks for the district. The motion passed 7-0