Matthew Liston: District Safety Security Officer
Liston is a former United States Marine. He recently retired from the Derby Police Department after 27 years. He was the first school resource officer for the Derby district in 1997 and then served as school resource officer supervisor for 14 years. He has been an instructor for the National Association of School Resource Officers since 1998 and served on the association’s board for six years. He will oversee all safety and security in the district including drill compliance, district crisis teams and making sure the district is keeping up with both physical and procedural safety protocols.
Randall Collins: Transportation and Supply Supervisor
Collins is retired from the U.S. Air Force, where he worked in communications and cargo/personnel movement. He was a mechanic and substitute bus driver for the district. He will lead a team of more than 60 professionals responsible for safely transporting more than 1,900 eligible students to/from school daily and a supply section that receives more than 1,100 packages a month for the district.
Luan Sparks: Director of Special Services
Sparks most recently served as executive director of student support services for Geary County Schools and was in that role for the past three years. She previously served as an elementary principal and coordinator of title services in Chapman Schools for seven years. Before that she worked in Derby Public Schools as a special education teacher and was the building administrator when Tri City Day School in Haysville opened in 2001. Her job will be to help provide support, leadership, administration and coordination of special education and student support services.
Mark Woofter: Principal at Derby Hills Elementary
After receiving his teaching license, Woofter and his wife, Kris, moved to the island of Guam to start their teaching careers. They returned home to Dodge City, where he taught fifth grade. Woofter accepted his first elementary principal position in Ellinwood. After serving there, he was the elementary principal and superintendent in Cimarron. His family returned to Dodge City, where he was the early childhood director and then middle school principal. Woofter said he would do whatever it takes to ensure students at Derby Hills receive the best education possible.
Mitch Pontious: Assistant Principal at Derby Middle School
After spending his first five years in the district at DMS, Mitch Pontious is returning as an assistant principal.
He spent the last year teaching geography and Reality 101 at DHS, while also coaching football and track and field. He replaces Mandy Rohr, who retired at the end of this past school year.
“I fell in love with the organizational side of school as well as being up front, in the trenches and teaching as well,” Pontious said of his career. “In the past four to five years, I got that bug and was excited about what education might look like from a different perspective.”
His career began as a fifth-grade teacher at Adams Elementary in his hometown of Ark City. After spending five years there, he taught 7th-grade social studies for five years at DMS before transitioning to DHS.