New Hickman Mills schools superintendent is picked from the district’s administration

Yolanda Cargile will take over as superintendent of the Hickman Mills School District in July.
Yolanda Cargile will take over as superintendent of the Hickman Mills School District in July. Hickman Mills School District

The next person to lead the Hickman Mills Schools District has been sitting in the district’s administrative offices for the past two years.

The Hickman Mills school board on Friday voted 6-0 to select Yolanda Cargile, the district’s current associate superintendent of student services, as its next superintendent.

Cargile, on July 1, will replace Dennis Carpenter, who was tapped last month to lead the Lee’s Summit School District.

Carpenter leaves Hickman Mills at the end of June. He replaces David McGehee, who resigned from Lee’s Summit after calls for him to step down because of a perceived conflict of interest due to a romantic relationship between him and a lead attorney for the district.

Cargile came to Hickman Mills in 2015 as the executive director of student services and was recently promoted to associate superintendent. She takes over a provisionally accredited district, which this past year fell just short of clinching full state accreditation, getting 67.9 of the 70 annual performance review points it needed.

The board had originally said it would conduct a national search for its next superintendent but opted to first look to see if that person existed within the district’s ranks. Cargile was one of the three candidates — all internal — who interviewed for the job.

Board president Darrell Curls said Cargile has “extensive knowledge, experience and leadership that makes her the ideal selection for our next superintendent.”

Cargile is familiar with recent district initiatives, Curls said, and “I am confident she will continue to move our district goals forward and improve student performance, while providing leadership and guidance throughout the district and community.”

Carpenter, in a statement Monday, called Cargile a “student-centered leader” with the technical and adaptive skills needed to advance achievement.

“Having worked with Dr. Cargile for the past two years, I find her to be an extraordinarily talented leader with all the attributes necessary to lead a school district at the highest level,” Carpenter said.

Before joining the Hickman Mills administration, Cargile served five years as director of student services in the Janesville School District in Wisconsin, where she oversaw student services programs and staff for 10,400 students.

The statement from Hickman Mills said that throughout her career, Cargile has implemented programs to reduce expulsions, addressed the achievement gap between minority and non-minority students, and also led districtwide professional development in racial equity, bullying prevention and pupil nondiscrimination.

A Ruskin High School graduate, Cargile earned a doctorate in educational leadership from National Louis University-Wheeling, Ill.; a master’s degree in educational policy and leadership from Marquette University; a master’s degree in administration leadership from Alverno College; and a bachelor’s degree in social work from Central Missouri State University.

Mará Rose Williams: 816-234-4419, @marawilliamskc