The principal and vice principle positions coming open at Arkansas City High School this summer were filled Wednesday during a special Board of Education meeting.

USD 470 hired Melissa Seacat as head principal at the ACHS for the 2023-24 school year. Seacat will replace Jeremy Truelove, who will step down at the end of this school year.

The board approved Seacat’s contract. She will earn a base annual salary of $115,000. She also will receive a transportation reimbursement of $1,750, a relocation reimbursement of $2,000 and an annual annuity of $1,000.

The district will also contribute $375 per month for health insurance and $112.80 per year for disability insurance.

Superintendent Ron Ballard said that Seacat currently serves as an assistant principal at Valley Center High School. She earned an associates degree from Cowley College, a bachelor’s from Wichita State University and a master’s in educational leadership from Kansas State University. She has 21 years of experience in education, five of which have been in school administration.

Ballard said in a press release that he was thrilled to welcome Seacat to the team.

“Her fresh perspective, passion for making connections and dedication to student success help make her a wonderful addition to the high school leadership team,” he said. “We look forward to seeing her succeed as a Bulldog.”

Seacat said she is eager and ready to meet the students and staff, and become acquainted with community members.

“I am ecstatic to be joining the USD 470 team,” she said. “Looking ahead, I hope to collectively build upon the foundation that has already been established with post-secondary and real-world learning opportunities, as well as foster a school culture that is positive, upbeat, and forward-thinking.”

The district has also hired Rhonda Wright as the assistant principal at ACHS for the 2023-24 school year. Wright will fill the position being vacated by Evan Burke, who has accepted a position as an elementary school principal in Colwich.

Truelove has not announced his plans after ACHS.

The press release states that Wright is a veteran educator with 34 years of experience. She served 14 years in the classroom, 20 as a school counselor and three years in school administration.

Wright holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics education, a master’s degree in student counseling and personnel services from Kansas State University, and a master’s degree in educational administration from Emporia State University. She currently serves as the secondary principal for Southeast of Saline, in Gypsum.

“We look forward to welcoming Ms. Wright to our leadership team,” Ballard said. “She has made a wonderful impression on us and her dedication to students will serve us well.”

Wright said that she is excited for the opportunity and looks forward to meeting fellow staff, students, and community members.

“I am looking forward to meeting everyone and working together to create a positive culture that will help students meet their goals,” she said.

Ballard said Wright will work closely with the high school administrative team to provide a smooth transition into the new year.

The release did not provide compensation information on Wright.

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