Sunflower Intermediate principal Sheri King and assistant principal Jason McAfee are hard at work to make sure their students needs are met. King was the assistant principal until former principal Jill Stout took her new position at central office. King was promoted to principal and found Jason McAfee to be the man for the job as assistant principal. McAfee, a former USD No. 480 student, said he is now working with teachers that taught him years ago.
Daily Leader photo/Jessica Crawford
Sheri King has been named principal, while Jason McAfee will be handling the duties of vice principal
By JESSICA CRAWFORD • Daily Leader
When former Sunflower principal Jill Stout took a new position within USD No. 480, it was fairly obvious that her assistant principal Sheri King would take the reins. King’s promotion left another position vacant – an assistant principal for Sunflower Intermediate.
When students came back to school after their Christmas vacation, the new administration at Sunflower was in place. Sheri King had been named principal and through an interview process involving King, former South Middle School history teacher Jason McAfee was chosen to work side by side with her in his first administrative position since he began his career with the district 11 years ago.
King and McAfee actually began their careers around the same time at South Middle School. With the two previously working together, during the hiring process, King knew the two could work very well together.
King also felt McAfee had a lot to offer the students simply because of his gender.
“Because he is a male, I felt like he would be a positive role model in these kids’ lives,” King said. “At this age, I think it is very important to a lot of our kids. He has some great qualities – he has been a coach, a foster parent and has a family of his own. I just really felt like it would be a good fit.”
Transitions that take place at the beginning of a school year can be difficult enough. According to King, although it was a little hectic at first, the timing actually had its benefits.
“I feel like we have an advantage,” King said. “Because when August comes next year, we are going to have everything established and ready to go. We will already be here, we will already know our staff and our kids.”
McAfee has faced some challenges with his first administration experience. Rather than tending to a classroom, now he must deal with matters throughout the entire building.
“I think my biggest challenge has been it being a new school in the middle of the year,” he said. “Things come at you from a lot more angles. With teaching, you have those 20 students that you have to worry about at that time. With administration, it is the whole building, it is everything from parents, teachers, students, custodial staff and cafeteria staff.”
With his prior teaching and coaching experience, McAfee understands that each child is different and they all have different strengths and weaknesses.
“I think it is important to teach to a child’s strength,” he said.
“Find out what that is and give them the best chance to succeed.”
For the future, of course King and McAfee want to improve assessment scores and get more students meeting AYP standards, however, they understand the different needs each specific student may have.
“We want to meet the needs of every student,” King said. “We don’t want to look at just a few students, we want to look at all of them.
We want to look at each student as an individual, and I think we need to do better with that. We want to make sure they are all learning and getting what they need to become productive citizens in our community.”
Deputy superintendent Lance Stout believes the hiring of King and McAfee to their new positions was a good move for the district. He has nothing but confidence in the two, he said.
“It is not every day or every year that we put somebody in place out of the classroom especially mid-year,” he said. “I am very thankful that everything has transpired as it has and am very encouraged. They are very excited about what is going on at the building. It is a good thing.”