Slater new Hinton Superintendent River Valley to share K-P’s Bailey

Friday, May 28, 2021

In what appears to be a win-win situation for three area schools involved, River Valley Superintendent Ken Slater has accepted the position of Superintendent at Hinton after serving as a shared Superintendent for both districts the past school year.

Slater’s move has resulted in River Valley entering a sharing agreement with Kingsley-Pierson Superintendent Scott Bailey for the 2021-22 school year and possibly beyond.

“I will be finishing up as shared Superintendent between River Valley and Hinton on June 30. On July 1, I will be the full-time Superintendent at Hinton,” explained Slater, a Cherokee Washington High graduate.

“I got started at Hinton as shared Superintendent in October (2020) after Hinton advertised for an interim Superintendent to finish out the year. At River Valley, we had made one of our primary goals for the year to increase operational sharing to help with our financial situation. I reached out to Hinton to see if they were interested and within three days we had decided to share for the year. 

“River Valley and Hinton were able to save on the Superintendent salary cost and bring in operational sharing dollars.  Later on, Hinton decided to open up the position of full-time Superintendent for 2021-2022 and I applied.  I felt it was a good challenge and it could also help River Valley as they could realign and save some money.  It ended up being a good thing all the way around.

“I will miss River Valley, it's a great community that loves its school. River Valley will now have a sharing agreement with K-P to share their Superintendent, Scott Bailey.  

Slater began his educational career at Van Meter as a Business Education Teacher - Assistant Football - Defensive Coordinator /Head Girls Basketball and Head Baseball Coach.

He then went to Spencer as a guidance counselor for a year and then got a call from Randy Schrader (former assistant football coach at Cherokee) asking him to apply to North Scott (4a) for a counseling job and assistant football. 

“I couldn't pass it up and I was there for 7 years coaching football and head girls basketball,” said Slater. “We made playoffs at NS in football and in basketball we made it to state in class 4a in 2002-2003.” 

Slater returned to his roots and NW Iowa when he accepted a position at Galva-Holstein in the summer of 2006 to be the high school Principal and girls basketball coach. In his time at Galva-Holstein they began sharing with Schaller-Crestland and became Ridge View. He also enjoyed coaching the Ridge View Boys Basketball team a couple of years. 

Slater moved next door to River Valley in 2015 as Superintendent.

“I have loved my time there and feel like we have done some great things while I was there. I can't say enough about the community, students, and staff,” said the former Cherokee Brave.

“I had the pleasure of working with a terrific school board during my time.  They really have been focused on the future and providing for the students of River Valley. They were able to get the voted PPEL passed which has helped improve facilities and provide one-to-one learning for students.  This past year we were also excited to bring Agriculture classes and FFA back to the district.” 

Slater is looking forward to working at Hinton and getting involved with their community. An interesting aspect of Hinton is that it has 520 resident students and over 280 open enrolled students coming into the district from Sioux City/LeMars. 

“I’m impressed by the progressive nature of the district and its commitment to excellence,” noted the son of Ken and Diane Slater of Cherokee.  “A focus for the future is to develop a plan for the high school building which is very old and the cost of keeping the building viable is expensive. The district would like to have a new school within the next 10 years. An issue to overcome in that goal is the low bonding capacity of the district.. 

Coping with the pandemic in his final year at River Valley has been about working as a team and getting through the COVID-19 obstacles and doing the best they can, added Slater.

“Now, it's time to move past COVID. I am looking forward to focusing again on one district. Hinton has a great staff in place to make some exciting things happen for the children of Hinton,” concluded Slater.   

In his life to date, Slater has been a Pirate, Brave, Bulldog, Tiger, Lancer, Pirate again, Bison, Raptor, Wolverine, and now a Blackhawk.

When he moves to Hinton he can open his own zoo and will need a separate closet just for the t-shirts and sweatshirts adorned with his favorite mascots. For they represent a stellar career of service to our kids and educational pursuits and advancement.

To say nothing of the irreplacible memories.

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