Smooth administration transition at Midway

Meyers retires after nine years at district’s helm

By Chance Chamberlain

Midway R-1 Superintendent Gordon Myers retired June 30, after nine years with the school district.

Myers worked in education for 48 years with 23 years of experience as superintendent. He was hired at Midway in 2011.

Myers said, “I liked being part of public-school administration. It worked well for me and I worked well for it.

“The community around Midway is what drew me to it. I found out about the school through Mike Oyster. He’s probably the school’s greatest ambassador. The year I applied for the position it was the only job that I applied for. I didn’t know anybody there, just the reputation.

“Before I applied, I knew that Midway had a community that values work ethic and family. They are a community that is full of pride for their school. They always show support,” Myers said.

Myers said he will remember a lot from his time with the district.

“I loved being involved with school activities. I’ll always remember rooting on the sports teams, the FBLA program, the FFA chapter and all of the events that don’t typically involve spectators,” he said.

“I will think back and remember the school board for always making outstanding personnel decisions that really benefited the kids. The administration team that I am leaving is a fantastic group that does outstanding work. They are a highlight of my career for their enthusiasm toward their work.”

Myers said of his achievements while superintendent, “I’m proud of the proven academic performance of the kids. The elementary school introduced STEM curriculum and there were more high school students taking courses at Cass Career
Center in Harrisonville and the Summit Tech Academy than ever before.”

Myers also said, “We built lots of opportunities to help kids see there are more options than college. We push kids to find what’s right for them, whether it be vocational school, career schools or the workforce. We try to do what is best for the kids. We also hang our hats on the fact that we have so many graduates enlist in the military.”

Myers said, “I’m retiring to spend more time with my wife Susan. She retired from her position as Atchison (Kansas) superintendent a year ago and with her not working, I want to spend more time with her by getting involved in the community together.

Myers added, “We plan to travel a lot. It will be nice because we can travel without restriction. There will be no rush to get back to work. I also plan on riding my BMW motorcycle all over the place and I want to find out where I left my golf swing.”

Myers was planning to retire in two years to complete a full 50 years of working in education. Instead, COVID- 19 threw him for a loop.

Myers said, “It was not the way I planned to go. If I had a crystal ball, I would have retired when my wife did because the last few months have been unlike anything I have ever seen in my 48 years of experience.

“I was planning to finish out two more years to hit the big 50 but due to COVID and other circumstances, I decided that right now was the right time to retire. It doesn’t feel right to not end my time with students and staff the way I always thought it would be.”

Myers said he is appreciative of everything the Midway School District presented.

“Thanks. Thank you to the board that was in place in 2011 that hired me. Through all of the transitions over the years, the Midway board has always been great to work with. Thank you to the students for always trying your best and to the teachers and staff for all of the work they do. Thank you to the community for the constant support over the years,” he said.

Myers was famed for a ponytail, but said he is leaving it behind as he retires. “We were going to auction it off at the Mr. Viking fundraiser, then COVID hit and got in the way of that. Somebody has a video of it being cut off somewhere though,” he said.

Angela Gibson assumed her role as superintendent July 1 and remains high school principal for Midway R-1.

Gibson to serve dual role

By Chance Chamberlain

The Midway R-1 School District didn’t have to look very far to find a new superintendent. Angela Gibson, who has served as the high school principal for three years, has stepped up and will perform a dual role as superintendent while keeping her high school role.

She assumed her new duties July 1.

Gibson has been working in education for more than 15 years. She has taught grades kindergarten through 12 and has worked in an administration role for more than ten years.

Gibson replaces Gordon Myers who retired June 30 at the end of the fiscal year. Myers held the position for nine years and she gave praise to Myers for serving as a mentor during her time in the district.

She said, “Gordon helped me every step of the way and has given me tons of advice for the job. He was constantly coaching me because he knew my goal was to become a superintendent at some point. He continues to reach out to me and has been a great resource.”

She said she first became interested in Midway because of the school’s reputation.

“I wanted to work at Midway because I knew a few teachers at the school and they always had great things to say about it,” she said. “I also love the community and this area and they offered me a great opportunity to become a head principal while staying close to home.”

While both the superintendent and principal positions can be demanding, she said she will have help juggling the two roles.

“I am really lucky to have great staff in the high school to help maintain positive relationships with the students. My assistant principal, Adam Markley, has been really great in our time working together and I expect his enthusiasm and hard work to continue,” Gibson said.

Gibson said she is excited for her new role as superintendent and she looks forward to making an impact on student lives.

“There’s so many things that I’m looking forward to. I want to make an impact on the curriculum so a student can be tracked kindergarten through 12 so we can monitor their growth,” she said. “I am really excited to see how the kids grow throughout their time at the school.

“I am excited about working closer with the community, teachers and students to build upon Midway’s reputation as a great small school. I think that it’s important to build upon the relationship with the community because they have always been so supportive of the school and all of the activities,” Gibson said.

She acknowledges the district, like all others, are facing difficult times. “We have to stay on our toes. There are children with gaps in their education because they missed the fourth quarter of last school year. They will be returning this fall with more than five months off and it will be our goal to make sure that we can accommodate to each kid’s needs. We will have to think outside of the box to make sure kids are where they need to be. We are also going to prepare for the possibility of another shutdown due to COVID,” she said. “We want to make Midway the cornerstone for small public school districts.”