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  • Journal Staff Report

Epps hired to head Pleasanton school district


PLEASANTON – The Pleasanton USD 344 Board of Education made some key personnel decisions on Monday, Jan. 13, including hiring Don Epps as district superintendent. Epps, who grew up in Linn County will replace retiring superintendent Travis Laver and will officially take over on July 1 this year.


The board also accepted the resignation of Seth Gabbert as high school boys basketball coach and hired Ethan Sabine to that post to finish out the season. Sabine is the head girls basketball coach as well.


Head football coach and weights coach Caleb Hendricks tendered his resignation, and the board accepted it. Hendricks took the Blu-Jays from a 3-6 record in 2020 to a 7-3 record and a berth in the playoffs last fall.


In a post on the district’s website, Hendrick posted, “This decision came with a lot of thought and prayer, and was by no means an easy one to make.


“I’m incredibly blessed for the time I had here, and for the opportunity that I was given to lead this program. I’m so thankful for the relationships I have built with these kids, and I couldn’t be more proud of all of their hard work and dedication to the program over the last 3 years.”


The board also accepted the resignation of social studies teacher Cory Zacharello, who resigned at the end of the fall semester. However the board directed Laver to request that Zacharello’s teaching license be pulled from the Kansas State Department of Education because of the district’s policy against resigning without a licensed replacement.


The board also:

• Appointed Meredith Johnson, Kaye Hardy, and Monica Sabine as board representatives for negotiations.

• Voted to allow Superintendent Travis Laver to sign an agreement with Prairie View USD 362 for 1/5 of the salary and benefits for Rick Sandness, a HVAC electrical technician from the Pleasanton area. Prairie View hired Sandness on Monday and agreed to let him work one day a week at Pleasanton.

• Voted to allow Laver to select two staff members to supervise an open gym.

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