(Editor’s note: The start of the 2010-11 school year brought several new faces to area public schools. The Register is profiling these educators with brief biographies. Today’s roundup features new teachers at Marmaton Valley schools — USD 256.)
David Hardage retired two years ago as superintendent of schools in Greenfield, Mo. He thought he would find a hobby, do some fishing in nearby Stockton Lake, and spend time with family.
“I found there was only so much fishing I could do. After 45 years in education, I was itching to get back to work,” Hardage said.
When a position for a part-time superintendent opened 108 miles away in the Moran school system, Hardage said, “I knew this was the kind of job I was looking for. I work several days a week in Moran and spend the rest of my week in Greenfield with my family.”
Hardage was born in Texas and moved with his family to a ranch in Oklahoma when he was a youngster. Influenced by his mother, who was a teacher, he received his credentials as a superintendent from the University of Tulsa. He holds a master’s degree in education from Northeastern State University of Tahlequah, Okla., and also took classes at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla., and Evangel University in Springfield, Mo.
He said education has changed a great deal in the past 45 years with more emphasis on testing and research-based curriculums.
“I am enjoying the Moran community and the staff here at the schools. I think we have a good school system here in Moran,” he said.
Hardage and his wife, Sue, also a former educator, have three grown daughters, Debbie, Anita and Courtney, and five grandchildren.
Justin Diehm is completing his student teaching block requirements under the supervision of Marmaton Valley High School vocational-agricutlure teacher Russell Plaschka.
Diehm, who is from La Cygne, attended Prairie View High School where he was an active member of FFA.
“When I graduated from high school my FFA adviser suggested I major in vo-ag in college. I am so glad I took his advice. I like teaching and hope to one day go back and teach at Prairie View,” he said.
Diehm could have commuted each day from La Cygne, but instead chose to get an apartment in Moran.
“I wanted the full experience of teaching and living in the same community as the school,” he said.
Diehm will graduate in December from Kansas State University. He was given the choice of four schools in which to do his student teaching. His first choice was Moran.