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Below the overview of the district are links to KBIA's coverage of Columbia 93 district schools, updated as more stories are published. Columbia 93 at a glanceThe Columbia 93 school district currently includes 32 different schools. In 2014, the district had a k-12 enrollment of 17,204 students, which is 2% of the total k-12 enrollment for the state. Enrollment has been slightly increasing in recent years, 2% since 2011. While a small percent, that amounts to almost 400 more students. There have also been major re-drawing of attendance areas with the addition of Battle High School. Middle school attendance areas shape high school boundaries 00000178-cc7d-da8b-a77d-ec7d2f9e0000The changes have affected all schools in the district, including causing high school attendance to increase and overcrowding at one middle school at least.

Top Educators Say Farewell to Columbia Public Schools

Two top local educators are saying farewell to the Columbia Public School District after years of service.

Gentry Middle School Principal Jeff Beiswinger believes that after 32 years as an educator, it’s finally time to retire. After 26 years of commitment to Columbia Public School District, he’s saying farewell and “going out the right way.”

“We’ve worked really hard here developing our teacher leadership pieces, and our commitment to each other across all content area, across all grade levels,” Beiswinger said. “I would hope that’s what one would consider the legacy I’m leaving behind, the fact that our teachers are empowered to be leaders, the teachers are involved in the development with the kids.” 

During his time at Gentry, Beiswinger also wanted the teachers to learn amongst themselves. He said through developing each teacher’s understanding of what is taught in every Gentry classroom, they were able to support each other and develop learning strategies across core content areas.

“We’ve really been working to get to know ourselves within our building,” Beiswinger said.

Hickman High School Principal Eric Johnson also accepted a new principal position in the North Kansas City School District. School board vice president Jonathan Sessions said that the board has been aware of both principles’ departure for some time, and there’s currently still an open search for new administrators.

“It will absolutely be a smooth transition,” Sessions said. “I’m a big fan of Dr. Johnson, I understand the loss you feel when the leader of your school moves on and has an opportunity such as this.”

Sessions knows that the loss is great, and it’s a departure that may impact students.

“But we will work because we are one Columbia public school. We will find someone to step into that role, knowing that they’re going to have some very large purple and gold shoes to fill,” Sessions said.