Waconda USD 272 Names New Superintendent


Mr. Jesse Janssen begins leadership of Waconda USD 272 on July 1, 2019

The USD 272 Board of Education has announced the selection of Mr. Jesse Janssen, as the new superintendent.  Jesse will take the reins on July 1, 2019 after Interim Superintendent, Dr. Betty Summers resumes retirement at the end of the 2018-2019 school year.

Mr. Janssen has broad education experience, as a teacher, administrator and an educator of educators.  He has been the Assistant Principal at Ulysses, USD 214 since 2014 and was a past principal at Langdon, USD 310.  Mr. Janssen holds a Master’s degree in School Administration, and Management and Leadership.  He holds certificates in Business, Mathematics, ESOL, Building Leadership and District Leadership.

Jesse will bring with him, a wife and three small children.  They look forward to the opportunity to embrace small town Kansas and are excited by what the District and the communities have to offer.

Students in our school succeed because they are quality students focused on preparing for their future.  We feel our staff and administration support student learning and education opportunities that will ensure they prepare for a career or college.

The board feels that Mr. Janssen emerged from a very thorough search process as the right candidate to lead the District.  Community input, including the involvement of a committee of stakeholders was a key factor in the success of the superintendent search process.  The committee included teachers and administrators, parents, and community members.

The board selected three finalists, who were scheduled to interview with the Board.

With the decision to hire Mr. Janssen, the Board feels they made the right selection to serve our students and our community.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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