School district announces interim principals for Lawrence High School, West Middle School

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The Lawrence school district has announced that Quentin Rials will serve as interim principal of Lawrence High School in the upcoming school year, and Therese Brink Edgecomb will take over that role at West Middle School.

Rials was named interim principal of West Middle School last year. He served two years as a learning coach at West before joining the Lawrence High administrative team in November of 2018.

Rials graduated from LHS himself in 1995. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Baker University, his juris doctorate at Washburn University, and a master’s degree at the University of Kansas, where he is a doctoral candidate. He also worked as an attorney for six years in private practice, both on behalf of a multinational corporation and for the state of Kansas, before he joined Lawrence Public Schools, according to a previous announcement from the district.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to come back home to Lawrence High School in the role of interim principal,” Rials said in the release. “As a Chesty Lion, and having served LHS as an assistant principal, I know that this school is a pillar in our community. I am very eager to return and help continue the legacy of excellence already established.”

Rials takes over from Principal Jessica Bassett, whose resignation is effective June 30. Bassett, in her second year as principal, has accepted the position of superintendent of Raytown, Missouri schools, according to the release.

Edgecomb is completing her second year as West’s assistant principal and athletic director, according to a news release from the district Thursday night.

Her prior experience includes teaching nine years at Sunset Hill and Hillcrest Elementary Schools and Liberty Memorial Central Middle School. She also served a year as an English language arts curriculum coordinator and teacher on special assignment in Lawrence, according to the release. Edgecomb earned her bachelor’s degree from Emporia State University and a master’s at Baker University. 

“I am absolutely honored to accept the interim principal position at West Middle School,” Edgecomb said in the release. “I have found a home at West, serving as the assistant principal these past two years, and I am excited to be able to serve our school community in this new role. It means that I can continue working with this amazing staff, supportive families, and the BEST students to ensure that our West Warhawks keep soaring. I’m excited about this next chapter and everything that we are going to accomplish together!” 

The permanent principal positions will be posted in December, “providing time for LHS and West MS student, staff, and parent input during the search process,” according to the release.

The new positions are pending school board approval and will be effective July 1 through June 30, 2024.

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