LSR7 parts ways with superintendent

After many months of turmoil, the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District has announced a major change in leadership.

In a release from communications director Kelly Wachel, the Board of Education announced an official parting of ways with the superintendent. According to the release (pasted below), Dr. Dennis Carpenter will be paid a total of $750,000 as part of the agreement.


Dr. Dennis Carpenter was a guest on the Lee’s Summit Town Hall podcast during his initial months on the job as superintendent of the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District. Disputes over his management of the district’s equity mission led to an agreement for his resignation. Part of the agreement included a payment of $750,000 from the district to Carpenter.  (File photo, Link 2 Lee’s Summit)

Dr. Dennis Carpenter was a guest on the Lee’s Summit Town Hall podcast during his initial months on the job as superintendent of the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District. Disputes over his management of the district’s equity mission led to an agreement for his resignation. Part of the agreement included a payment of $750,000 from the district to Carpenter. (File photo, Link 2 Lee’s Summit)


This is the second consecutive superintendent to reach a buyout with the Board of Education. Dr. David McGehee was paid approximately $450,000 after months of contention surrounding his contract negotiations.

The following was sent to media from Wachel’s office.

“The Board of Education of the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District and Dr. Dennis Carpenter have entered into an agreement in principle under which Dr. Carpenter has resigned as the District’s Superintendent of Schools.

The agreement was reached after a mediation conducted by Kansas City attorney Rik Siro. Under the agreement, the District will pay Dr. Carpenter a total of $750,000. A portion of this payment is being funded by the District’s insurance carrier.

Once the agreement has been signed by Dr. Carpenter and the Board president, it will be released to the public. The agreement includes provisions under which the parties agree not to discuss the negotiations leading up to the agreement. For that reason, neither the Board nor Dr. Carpenter will make any further statements about the agreement. We sincerely thank Dr. Carpenter for his service to our students, staff and community. 

With this, the Board of Education wants to emphasize that it remains committed to the work of our approved equity plan and the components of the plan. 

For next steps, the Board of Education has named Dr. Emily Miller as the acting Superintendent. Dr. Miller has served as the District’s Assistant Superintendent of Special Services from 2012-2018 and as the District’s Assistant Superintendent of Operations since 2018. Prior to her district administrative roles, she served as a process coordinator and teacher in the Lee’s Summit School District for 10 years.

Lastly, we acknowledge that the last several months have been difficult with a range of emotions involved, but we know we are up for the challenge before us to push into the future together. Our responsibility to forge our path forward is an honor. And it’s one that holds the highest importance because it’s for all the students and families we serve.”