West principal called to serve Guard in Iraq
Instead of serving 250-some third- fourth- and fifth-graders this school year, Principal Rod Moyer will be serving the country. The Eudora West Elementary School principal is a staff sergeant with the Kansas National Guard.
Moyer said he got official word last weekend that he was being called up to serve in Iraq. He will report to Iola in mid-September and then will go to Ft. Sill in Oklahoma for training and certification. From there, it will be on to Iraq.
Moyer said he was qualified in three specialties. one of them being chemical warfare.
"The last few years I was a clerk at the battalion headquarters," he said. "My commander didn't even know I was (qualified in chemical warfare). You just don't tell people."
He said five others in the state were trained at his level, three of whom were already deployed.
"We were prepared for this just in case," Moyer said.
Serving in Iraq means the school is searching for an interim principal, a candidate for which Superintendent Marty Kobza said the Board of Education should be ready to approve at its Sept. 9 meeting.
Kobza said he would recommend the Board hire an interim principal with the caveat the position would no longer be available upon Moyer's return but with the assumption he or she would serve the remainder of the school year.
The superintendent said interim principals could be retired administrators, community members with administrative certification, or district members who move up from a teaching position. Kobza said he was confident the district would hear from quality candidates.
Moyer notified students by grade level of his upcoming deployment Tuesday. He said counselors worked with him on how to tell students, but the principal said two of his fourth-grader students' parents were being deployed as well, deepening West students' understanding.
Moyer said he would provide a mailing address once he was in Iraq."The kids will write as part of assignments," he said.
Moyer also resigned as a member of the Eudora Planning Commission and the Douglas County Emergency Management Board.
Eudora resident Tami Klinedinst is organizing recognition for active soldiers like Moyer and veterans alike.
Klinedinst is asking veterans and soldiers (or their families if serving overseas) to submit a photograph, preferably in uniform, along with other information.
For active soldiers, include their branch of service, rank, where they are serving and an address where Eudorans can send their greetings. Veterans are asked to include their branch of service and when and where they served.
Items may be sent to Klinedinst at 921 E. 13th Ct., Eudora 66025. The deadline is Sept. 15.
Veterans and soldiers (or their families if soldiers are overseas) are invited to ride on a special float in the homecoming parade Oct. 13. Volunteers are also needed to help create the float.
To volunteer or for more information about the project, call Klinedinst at 344-1106 or 542-1030.