Sean Spoonts Named Superintendent of Valley Heights USD 498 Schools

Mr. Sean Spoonts begins leadership of USD 498 on July 1, 2023.

The USD 498 Board of Education has announced the selection of Mr. Sean Spoonts, as the new superintendent. Mr. Spoonts will take the reins on July 1, 2023 following the departure of Superintendent Kennedy at the end of the 2022-23 school year.

New USD 498 Valley Heights Superintendent Sean Spoonts

Mr. Spoonts has accepted the Superintendent position at Valley Heights, bringing his 24 years of experience in education to the role. Mr. Spoonts’ extensive career in education has seen him serve in a variety of roles, including as a teacher/coach, activities director, assistant principal, principal, and KSHSAA board of director.

Mr. Spoonts spent six years at Marion, eight years at Onaga as a teacher and activities director, three years as an activities director at Russell, and one year as a 7-12 Assistant Principal/Activities Director at Eureka. He then spent six years as a 7-12 principal at Eureka, where he was named FCCLA Principal of the Year in 2019.

Mr. Spoonts has also served on the KSHSAA Board of Directors for four years and the KSHSAA Executive Board of Directors for one year. He has also served at the Tri-Valley League President for 4 years. He was recently selected as the Secretary/Treasurer of the KSHSAA Executive Board of Directors, demonstrating his commitment to education, activities and leadership.

In 2017, Mr. Spoonts was recognized as the Assistant Regional Principal of the Year, a testament to his exceptional leadership skills and dedication to student success. His extensive experience in education and leadership make him an ideal candidate for the Superintendent position at Valley Heights.

When asked for his thoughts on the position and Valley Heights community, Mr. Spoonts had the following to say, “I am thrilled to accept the Superintendent position at Valley Heights and am excited for the opportunity to work with the students, staff, and patrons of the community. I look forward to building strong relationships with all members of the school community and contributing to the continued success of Valley Heights. Additionally, this move will bring my family closer to our loved ones on my wife’s side, making it a truly special opportunity for us.”

Board President Sharon Osborne says that Mr. Spoonts emerged from a very thorough search process as the right candidate to lead the School District. “The Board is certain in our choice of Mr. Spoonts and confident that under his leadership USD 498 will continue to be recognized as an award-winning district in both scholastic activities and athletics.

USD 498 Board President Sharon Osborne, explained that community input, including the involvement of stakeholders was a key factor in the success of the superintendent search process. The stakeholder committees included teachers and administrators, staff, parents and community members. “The input from the community as a whole was very helpful to our process.”

The Board selected 2 finalists, who were interviewed by the Board.

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 2020 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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