By GREG SCELLIN
For the first time in a decade and a half, when students start classes this coming Monday, a new person will be in the front office at Fillmore Central. Josh Cumpston is the new superintendent for FC Public Schools. Cumpston replaces Mark Norvell, who retired after a 15-year run as superintendent at FC.
Cumpston comes to FC after spending the past three years as superintendent at Silver Lake Public Schools. Before that, he was superintendent at Nebraska Christian for seven years. Cumpston and wife Allene, along with son Tyler, who will be a junior at FC this year, moved to Geneva from Hastings in May.
“The people here have been really welcoming,” said Cumpston in an interview last week in his office in Geneva. “We’ve gotten to learn a little bit about the community…go to cruise night…attend the farmer’s market…little things. It’s been a good experience.”
Cumpston wasn’t in a hurry to leave Silver Lake, which is located southwest of Hastings and has a main school in Roseland, because the school district had just built a new elementary school.
“It was an exciting time for that community,” he said. “Fillmore Central was the only position I applied too. I had felt it was a school district to take a look at if it ever came open. With Mark retiring, I thought I would at least investigate it.”
Like Norvell, Cumpston has a similar past tie—both spent time working in the Blue Hill School District. Cumpston was 7-12 principal, athletic director and head football coach for the Bobcats from 2002-2004. Before that, the Lexington (Class of 1991) native began his teaching career as a seventh grade social studies instructor at the Hastings Middle School. He also coached football and wrestling in Hastings from 1996-2002. Cumpston experienced an early Geneva tie, as 1961 GHS graduate Larry Bornschlegl hired him for his first teaching job in Hastings.
Cumpston did his undergraduate studies at Hastings College and earned his masters specialist degree at the University of Nebraska-Kearney.
“I got into this business because I like kids and I like to build relationships,” he said. “I wanted to be a high school teacher, too. But, I wanted to work with middle school kids, too. That’s a fun age for kids.”