Hickman Mills Superintendent Dr. Yolanda Cargile announces resignation

In a letter addressed to staff and families in the Hickman Mills School District, Dr. Yolanda Cargile announced she was stepping down from her position as Superintendent of Schools. She sites a new educational pursuit for her decision.

Cargile stepped in three years ago as Superintendent, replacing Dennis Carpenter who took over the position of Superintendent of Schools in Lee’s Summit. She had previously been associate superintendent of student services.

In the letter she names the progress that was made during her tenure, including providing STEAM and Project Based Learning to the entire district, maintaining a full day Pre-K program, expanding real world learning opportunities for middle and high school students, improving attendance, improving student experiences via “rounding,” and increasing church partnership through Caring for Kids.

Cargile does not mention the closing of two elementary schools last year to save money, nor does she mention recent Missouri APR reports due this month and the district’s accreditation status.

In a statement by the Board of Education, President Wakisha Briggs said, “The Hickman Mills C-1 Board would like to thank Dr. Cargile for her three years of service as Superintendent of the Hickman Mills School District as well as her two years as Associate Superintendent of Student Services.

Here is Dr. Cargile’s letter in full:

After 3 rewarding years of serving as Superintendent of the district where I
grew up and graduated, I made the decision to pursue another opportunity to
further my growth as an educational leader. I will leave so many colleagues
with whom I’ve worked and who helped guide our students to greater
achievement and success. I am confident the HMC-1 team and family will
carry on this very important work.
As a result of these 3 years of hard work by our teachers, staff, school
administrators, a strong and committed central office cabinet, and our school
board, the Hickman Mills School District is in a stronger position to serve its
students. A personal point of pride for me is the collaboration and support my
community has provided to me during my tenure. The progress I’m about to
mention would not have been possible without this support and
encouragement.
1. Despite budget reductions, our district has been able to provide
STEAM (Science, Technology Engineering, Arts & Math) and Project
Based Learning training to our entire district team. Connected with
these critical learning opportunities for our students, we now have a
three-year professional development schedule for all teaching staff
that will continue to grow and support our teachers’ skills.
2. The District has been able to maintain a full day Pre-K program
which helps our community’s youngest learners be Kindergartenready.
3. Through a long-time partnership with PREP-KC, we’ve continued to
deepen and expand our career academies and real world learning
opportunities for both middle school and high school students, so
that many more of our young people can be ready for postsecondary
education and a satisfying career.
4. We’ve significantly improved attendance through a combined
partnership with Attendance Works, Hickman Mills Educational
Foundation, Turn the Page KC and United Way.
5. We’ve supported the implementation of an intentional way to learn
about and improve the experiences of our students and staff through
rounding. According to Quint Studer of Studer Group, rounding is
the consistent practice of asking specific questions of key
stakeholders to obtain actionable information. The goal is to build
relationships, establish trust, identify improvement areas and ensure
expected behaviors are hardwired.
6. To support our commitment to caring for our children and each other,
we’ve launched the District Education Pledge with students, staff,
parents and community.
7. Throughout this process we’ve increased church partnerships through
Caring for Kids that has significantly helped to bridge gaps between
school, community and home.
For these 3 years our district has been on a steady improvement trendline,
and I’m confident this work will continue. A critical next step will be the
district’s pursuit of a “no tax increase” bond initiative in the 2020 election. This
is exactly the next step for the Hickman Mills C-1 School District. Updated
facilities are a must have for the HMC-1 children and young people. As you
know, we have facilities that are in critical need of repair and improvement,
and 2020 is the time to get this done.
More than anything, I want you to know that I will remain one of Hickman Mills
greatest cheerleaders. I’m committed to doing everything I can to make the
transition to the next leader a smooth one so that he or she can continue the
work that’s already underway to make HMC-1 School District the very best
place to learn for students and the best place to work and grow for our
teachers and staff. I wholeheartedly believe in this community and am grateful
you gave me the opportunity to serve.
The Public Information & Partnerships Office will follow up with a statement
from the Board of Education framing next steps for the Hickman Mills C-1
School District.

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