USD 410 under new leadership

When USD 410 students head back to school Aug. 18, they will find new lead administrators in each district building. Clint Corby transitioned from Hillsboro Middle/High School principal to the district superintendent following the retirement of Max Heinrichs, Tyler Weinbrenner filled Corby’s vacated spot as HMHS principal, and Nathan Hiebert moved from teaching business at the high school to become Hillsboro Elementary School principal following the retirement of Evan Yoder.

Clint Corby – USD 410 District Office

 

Clint, Emerson, 10, Heather. Clint Corby is the new USD 410 Superintendent.

After eight years working as Hillsboro Middle/High School principal for USD 410, Clint Corby finds himself in a new building and a new office for the 2022-23 school year. But while he is new to the superintendent position at USD 410, Corby isn’t new to leading a school district. After teaching four years in the classroom following college graduation, Corby began his administrative career at Haviland as K-12 principal, eventually combining roles to include the superintendent job in his workload. During his final year in Haviland, Corby was also assigned the task of being superintendent for Mullinville during its final year before the district closed via consolidation.

For the boy who always loved school growing up, Corby brings his desire to have a positive impact on kids to his role as an administrator.

I always loved school growing up,” Corby said. “It was always a positive place for me; I wanted to be there. When it was time to go school supply shopping and get ready for the first day of school, I was never like ‘Oh man, school’s here,’ I was always excited about that.”

While in high school, Corby’s guidance counselor was the first to suggest a career in education. The idea took root, and eventually solidified with a bachelor’s degree in education from Emporia State University in 2003. He later received his master’s in educational leadership from Baker University in 2006 and his district licensure from Friend’s University in 2009.

I love teaching,” he said. “I loved every second of it and I never really aspired to be an administrator. I had some leadership roles as a teacher and then had a principal encourage me by saying ‘You have a knack for this; this could be something you’re good at.’ I became a principal and haven’t looked back.”

He’s treating his new role in Hillsboro similarly: “There’s nowhere else I’d rather be. I’ve seen other districts. I know what’s out there. This is the best.”

Corby shared two primary focuses for his first year as superintendent: to care for his new building principals and to have a good line of communication with all district stakeholders.

First, I have two new building principals, and so making sure they have what they need is obviously a huge priority,” Corby said. “They are both phenomenal. I’m absolutely blessed to have these two gentlemen leading those buildings.

Number two is I want to focus on communication and making sure all stakeholders know what they need to know to be successful, whatever they’re doing. Whether it’s as a parent, whether it’s as a custodian or whether it’s the person in the office next to us, we have the information to make the best decisions that we can.”

Corby also wants to make sure teachers and students have what they need to be successful, but acknowledged that operating within the budget can present prioritization challenges.

I want to make sure we have a plan in all of those different areas to provide as many opportunities as possible within the budget,” he said. “There’s a lot of things that I believe our students should have, but then the reality of a budget comes in and it limits what that can be.”

Another challenge facing the district falls within human resources in terms of staffing and retention.

I haven’t talked to anybody in any industry where [staffing] is not a challenge,” Corby said. “I’m hoping not only will we be able to keep our current staff, but then continue to recruit others as people retire and move on to the next chapters of life.”

Looking beyond his first year, Corby wants the district to continue to be an educational leader in the state of Kansas with course offerings, assessment scores and student preparation for life beyond the classroom.

We’ve got a couple different construction projects finishing up but I don’t have a goal of coming in and having to make big changes,” Corby said. “That’s not where we’re at. We’re a high-performing district that does a lot of great things. I want to make sure we keep getting better.”

Tyler Weinbrenner – HMHS

 

Front row: Tyler, Tyson (age 3), Cheri. Back row: Lawson (age 5), Bristol (age 7), Keely (age 10). Tyler Weinbrenner is the new HMHS principal.

After teaching in the Centre school district following his graduation from Tabor College in 2008 and eventually moving to Inman for a job, first in special education and then as the middle school/high school principal, Tyler Weinbrenner returned to his hometown this summer to fill the Hillsboro middle/high school principal role, vacated by Clint Corby.

When I saw the position came open, I was obviously excited about it,” Weinbrenner said. “It’s not like I was looking – we loved where we were and figured we would stay there and our kids would graduate from there and everything – I say that to speak to how highly we think of Hillsboro because we left a good situation to come here.”

Weinbrenner, a 2003 graduate of HHS, said the return was “about the hometown pull” but also related to the quality of USD 410 and the “tradition of Hillsboro.”

Obviously [I was] part of that when I was a student,” he said, “but then seeing, even recently, what they’ve done with the redesign and the excellence, not just in the classroom but also out of the classroom – activities, athletics and all of that – it’s just a continued tradition. It’s exciting to be part of that.”

With a passion for leadership and finding inspiration in understanding the bigger picture of public education, Weinbrenner earned a master’s degree in building administration from Emporia State University in 2017 to add to the master’s in special education he obtained from ESU in 2014. Before coming to Hillsboro, he was the principal for grades 7-12 in Inman for six years.

Calling himself an “instructional leader,” one of Weinbrenner’s goals for the district is to prioritize continuing education for the faculty.

Practically speaking,” he said, “I think of myself as an instructional leader–as somebody who’s always trying to put my teachers in a position where they have the opportunity to learn.

The idea of a school community – we’re all here, we’re all learning – and so it’s my job to continuously help my staff learn and grow so they can help the students learn and grow.”

Another priority Weinbrenner has is to develop good relationships with all stakeholders of the district – students, parents, community members.

Anybody that interacts with our school, I want them to have a fantastic experience,” he said. “I want them to walk away and say, ‘You know, it was great working with that school. My kid had a wonderful experience at that school. As a parent I was treated respectfully.’ And so to me, it starts with that stakeholder experience that whoever you are, if you interact with our school, you’re going to come away and say there’s excellence there. They truly care about people.”

Nathan Hiebert – HES

Front: Lundyn, 11, Emelia, 6. Back: Lynette, Braxton, 13, Elliott, 4, Nathan, Lena, 9

After 19 years as a business teacher at Hillsboro High School paired with coaching assignments including 15 years as the HHS head girls basketball coach, Nathan Hiebert transitioned this summer to a new role and a new building as Hillsboro Elementary School principal.

This will be a big transition for me,” Hiebert said, “but also an amazing opportunity for me to grow and learn even more.”

While new to a building administration role, Hiebert observed the elementary school structures as a parent of elementary-aged children and has “always been extremely impressed with how they care and challenge my own students.” He’s also worked with the younger age groups through JAM, Vacation Bible School and other church activities as well as through practicum situations while taking building leadership courses.

I love the energy and joy that is in our elementary school,” he said. “They really do have a joy in life and our staff does a great job serving and loving them.”

Hiebert was encouraged about seven years ago by former USD 410 administration to consider earning a building administration endorsement to pair with his bachelor’s degrees from Bethany College in business education and business/economics and a minor in computer applications and his master’s in family studies and human service-financial planning from Kansas State University. Hiebert received his endorsement from Fort Hays State University in 2017.

Administration was not necessarily in my long-term plan,” Hiebert said. “I respected and appreciated my past administrators but I loved teaching and being in the classroom. I continued to pray and see where I felt God was leading me.”

There was even a time the family considered looking elsewhere, but other districts did not seem like a good fit.

[The administration] believed I would do well in that role,” he said. “Through a lot of people’s encouragement and support I decided to apply and pursue administration.”

As a high school teacher, Hiebert said he has gained an appreciation for the tone set at HES for education saying, “the foundation they provide our students is a huge asset to our middle/high school.” This is something he will continue to foster as HES principal.

A strong foundation is key for every child’s success,” Hiebert said. “Our elementary school has established a vision of Helping Each Student – Do Their Best To Do Their Best. I think this is a great thing to focus on.”

Pre-COVID-19, another focus of the elementary school staff was working toward developing stronger relationships within the community. Hiebert hopes to further develop this pre-existing goal.

I would love to work on continuing to bring those opportunities to connect students, connect families and connect our community with our school,” he said.

He also said the students’ social and emotional well-being will continue to be a need and a focus at HES.

I am excited about this first year,” Hiebert said. “My plan is to do a lot of listening and working on building a strong community and a strong culture of success. I know I will be challenged and we will face challenges as a school, but I know that within those challenges are a lot of opportunities for growth and improvement.”

Hiebert spoke highly of the legacy left behind by outgoing principal Evan Yoder and said Yoder has been supportive and has been “helping me get up to speed.”

Our goal is to continue to grow and improve on the great things HES has done,” Hiebert said. “Our staff has already been working and planning on several great things. I am excited to see how it all comes together.”

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