Medlin tapped to lead Ash Grove School District

Ethan Gray


Next AG R-4 superintendent leaving Willard Elementary after 18 years, to take leadership reins July 1

Ash Grove School District will be receiving a new superintendent soon. Next up for the position—as decided last week by the Ash Grove Board of Education—is Shane Medlin, who will begin work on July 1.
Medlin, native to Lamar, already has knowledge of the area because of its close proximity to his current place of employment, Willard Central Elementary. Medlin has been the principal of the school for the past 18 years.
Though Medlin is excited for his new opportunity, he will be sad to leave his former place of employment. Medlin considers himself a loyal person, which is why he stayed at Willard Central for such a long period of time. This loyalty is something he hopes to offer to Ash Grove as well. He said that this position was the only one he applied to and the only one he wanted.
“I don’t have a limit on my time here,” he said.
Medlin said in an interview that he doesn’t see himself leaving the small town any time soon, partly because of Medlin’s roots in small town communities. Not only does his current district share a border with Ash Grove’s, he comes through the area often on his way to visit family in Lamar. Medlin hails from a farm in the town; his family owns a hog and cattle operation there. Medlin also frequents Ash Grove to buy feed and Mexican food.
Medlin’s short-term goals in the superintendent position will be to form relationships with members of the community and the board. He already knows some of the families around town, as he has had many of their children attend his elementary school, but he wants to get even more familiar with the area and the people before he begins work there.
When asked about goals for the long term, Medlin said that he doesn’t have any, at least not yet. Medlin explained that he doesn’t have any personal agenda or plans for the future at this time. He stated that he wants to do his best for the district’s people, and that means prioritizing goals reflective of the community’s and the board’s needs and desires.
“I want to invest in Ash Grove’s future,” he said.
Medlin will miss Willard, but he said he is ready to get started with a new challenge.
“I’m ready to serve in a greater capacity,” he said. “It’s definitely bittersweet, but I’m so excited for the future.”
Medlin’s contract period will begin on July 1, but he intends to make appearances sooner.


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