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Posted on: August 8, 2019

Superintendent Dr. Kari Monsees announces retirement

Kari Monsees

Ray-Pec School District Superintendent Dr. Kari Monsees announced that he will retire at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

He made the news public at the Aug. 7 all-staff Convocation. This annual meeting of District employees is the kick-off to the school year and is the one time each year all staff gather together.

"The past six-plus years have been the most rewarding years of my educational career," Dr. Monsees said. "I have truly been blessed to be a part of the Raymore-Peculiar School District, and I intend to transition from my current role in a manner that sets the next leader up for success. I am not certain about my plans in retirement, but I anticipate staying involved in public education in some supportive manner. Laura and I intend to make Ray-Pec our retirement community, so I will not be far away."

Dr. Monsees had already notified the School Board and members of the administrative leadership. The Board is expected to discuss the superintendent search process at its next meeting.

Board President Ruth Johnson thanked Dr. Monsees for his service to the District.

"He leads with fairness and integrity, and has worked hard to prepare the District for the future," she said. "When he came to Ray-Pec, he was known for his expertise in school finance, but he also has done so much in our community to strengthen relationships, communication, and the spirit of collaboration. During every major project, he works to include the Board, teachers and staff, and the community. We look forward to the work he will do this year on the long range facility planning process. While we wish Dr. Monsees the best in retirement, we will miss his leadership."

Board Vice President Paul Coffman said that he appreciated Dr. Monsees for his fair and consistent leadership, and his ability to build consensus. "He leads with integrity and humility, always doing what's best for the students and teachers," Coffman said.

Board Member Kim York was Board President when Dr. Monsees was hired. At the time, she said "He has a wealth of experience, which will bring growth and prosperity to our district." Today, York says that the expectation became a reality. His financial acumen and forward thinking has helped prepare Ray-Pec for the future.

Dr. Monsees came to Ray-Pec in 2013 from the Wentzville (Mo.) School District, where he was chief financial officer and assistant superintendent. During his tenure at Ray-Pec, enrollment has grown by nearly 400 students. His accomplishments include leading several major initiatives, including:

  • 2014-2015: The Long-Range Facility Plan. Work on the plan included input from more than 470 patrons and presentations to groups across the District. When adopted in 2015, the plan recommended adding to the high school building (to enable all high school students to attend the same building), changing the north high school building to a second middle school, changing grade configurations to the current K-5, 6-8, and 9-12 arrangement, and moving the Early Childhood programs to Shull building. The plan will be updated during the coming school year.
  • April 2016: Passage of a $27 million no-tax-rate-increase bond issue to address space needs throughout the District. 
  • Six months of discussion and community planning leading to the December 2016 approval of new attendance boundaries.
  • 2017: A process to update the District's Strategic Plan in 2017. The Board adopted the 2018-2022 Strategic Plan in December 2017.
  • April 2018: Passage of an operating levy increase, Proposition R-P to support several areas, including investments in high quality staff, student programs and services, and facility maintenance and upkeep.

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