Mingus, Hargrove agree on contract

Superintendent of Hiawatha, Kansas schools to sign $114,000 one-year contract to lead high school district

Dr. Penny Hargrove

Dr. Penny Hargrove

COTTONWOOD – Though she looks forward to taking over as superintendent at Mingus Union High School District, Dr. Penny Hargrove still has a job to finish in Kansas.

Currently in charge at Hiawatha Public Schools in Hiawatha, Kansas, Dr. Hargrove is “extremely excited about working with the [Mingus Union] staff and community to move the district toward being the best district in the state for student and staff learning and leadership.”

Tuesday, Mingus Union High School District’s governing board unanimously agreed to accept the terms of a one-year, $114,000 contract with Dr. Hargrove to become the district’s next superintendent.

“For me, it’s students first,” said Dr. Hargrove. “Everything I do is to make sure we’re serving the students the way they need to be served.”

Part of a student-first focus, according to the new Mingus superintendent, is to “make sure both the staff and the students are learning.”

“The word ‘superintendent’ really means ‘extended parent,’ she said. “That’s kind of how I see my job.”

A lifetime ago, Dr. Hargrove was a stay-at-home mother. Following a divorce, then earning her college education, the new superintendent at Mingus spent the past 20 years in her home state first teaching, then leading Kansas schools.

In the short-term, Dr. Hargrove and her husband Grover look to sell their Kansas home while they look for a new in the Verde Valley.

Still ahead, she looks forward to the first day on the job.

“Wanting to get to know the staff better, and learning our strengths and weaknesses,” Dr. Hargrove said. “And making sure we’re ready for the kids to arrive in August.”

On July 3, Dr. Hargrove will take seat in her office for the first time. With her that first day will be Grover, their two sons, six grandchildren, a daughter-in-law and a best friend.

“They’ve got to make sure this is the best place for me,” Dr. Hargrove said. “They know it is.”

Dr. Hargrove was one of four finalists the position of district superintendent. The board, a committee of district staff, as well as community members interviewed the candidates.

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