Updated: Jul 22
Karen Snow, left, and Connie Krull spent the last few days of their careers welcoming community members and other staff who stopped by the Pleasanton USD 344 office to wish them well in retirement. (Photo by Roger Sims, Linn County Journal)
The end of June marked the end of an era for the Pleasanton USD 344 central office. Two key people in the running of the organization retired from their posts, taking a combined 75 years of experience with them.
Karen Snow, secretary to the superintendent, and Connie Krull, clerk for the school board, have seen seven or more superintendents come and go. They have been there as the documents and communication for the district have gone from strictly paper to digital.
Of the two, Krull has worked for the district the longest. She began her career in education in 1978 when she was hired to be a teacher’s aide. From there, she was promoted to secretary for Pleasanton Elementary School, a capacity she served in for 13 years.
The clerk position came open unexpectedly, and Krull stepped in to take over, unsure about the challenges that then lay ahead for her. Along with countless other things, the school board clerk’s position works with the superintendent to develop the budget each year, works with auditors to insure the district follows rules, is a district liaison with the Kansas State Department of Eduction (KSDE), and keeps track of Kansas Public Employee Retirement System (KPERS) for employees of the district.
The board clerk is also in charge of working with insurance (both for the district and for individual employees, payroll, accounts receivable and accounts payable.
She said the the auditors, KSDE and the other agencies stepped in to help with what would otherwise be a very steep learning curve. “Everyone was great to keep me going,” she said.
After the initial shock of trying to learn everything at once had passed, she said she learned to love the job. “I’ve really enjoyed working for the district, and I can’t imagine working anywhere else,” Krull said.
That sentiment was echoed by Snow, who has served as district secretary and board treasurer since 1991. She was hired to the secretary’s post after working in jobs outside of education, including a stint at a local bank.
“It’s been a good job. It really has,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed everything about it.”
Although Snow said she had no real plans yet of what she was going to do in retirement, she said she was looking forward to it. “I want to be a lady of leisure,” she said.
But that definitely includes spending time with her sons' families and grandchildren. Her oldest son, Josh, and his wife Taylor live in Pleasanton and they have two children. Her youngest son, Kane, and his wife Heather live in California.
She said is also looking forward to enjoying Annie – a part-Poodle, part-Wheaton Terrier (or Whole) mix.
Although she said she still wasn’t ready to retire, Krull said she will have a lot to keep her busy.
“I want to travel and enjoy life,” she said, adding that it will be nice to get up every morning and not have to go to work.
With 16 grandchildren from her three daughters and one son, she said that will be plenty to keep her and her husband busy.