Eudora News and Information ~ www.eudorareporter.com
Superintendent Don Grosdidier considers himself a lifelong resident of Eudora. Aside from his years at KU and a four-year stint teaching and coaching at Pleasant Ridge High School, he’s spent his whole life right here. In fact, his family roots trace back over a hundred years in Eudora.
Grosdidier spent his first five school years at Eudora’s Holy Family Catholic School and then spent the rest in public school, graduating from EHS in 1977. He has fond memories of his experiences as a student in Eudora.
“My school experience was a little different from the present in terms of curriculum and instruction,” explained Grosdidier, “but the thing that stood out the most was the relationships that I was able to develop with my teachers and coaches. Charlie Watts, Larry McPherson, Don Laws, Dave Durkin, and Joe Hanna were all teachers and coaches that had a positive and lasting influence on my life. It has always fascinated me over the years the number of former Eudora students who aspired to be teachers and coaches. I think that says a lot about the people who we have had on our staff over the years and the relationships they have been able to form with our kids.”
His career in Eudora began in 1986 when he was hired as the high school social studies teacher. He went on to teach government, US history, sociology, economics, geography, world history and current events. He coached football at both the middle school and high school level, but his most memorable coaching experience was high school girls’ basketball. He led the Lady Cardinals for 12 years, taking the team to state in 1992.
Don Grosdidier also served as the middle school principle and superintendent of curriculum and instruction. He was hired as the district’s superintendent in July 2008. He has witnessed a lot of changes throughout his years here, most of them very positive.
“The changes I have seen in Eudora Schools over the years have been truly amazing,” said Grosdidier. “Obviously, the facilities have changed dramatically and are currently second to none in the state for a community of this size. That is a very outward sign to the state that this community values their children and wants them to have the best educational opportunities. I am certainly proud of Eudora and the commitment it has made to its public schools.”
He added, “Still it is more than just good facilities in terms of change. It is about opportunity and I am certainly proud of the level of opportunity we are able to provide our kids. Career and technical education is a great example. There really are not school districts of this size that provide the level of opportunities we do in career and technical fields. We continue to provide opportunities in activities and the arts despite shrinking budgets. I think there is a niche for virtually any student if they will explore the opportunities available.”
Grosdidier will retire from his long and stellar career in the Eudora public schools at the end of this school year. After 28 years working for the district, he will be greatly missed by everyone. He will be remembered as a dedicated, community-minded educator who always put the kids first.
So what’s next for Grosdidier after his retirement? “I plan to take a deep breath for awhile and figure out what the next stage of my life holds. Without a doubt I will work again, but I need some time to plan my next step.”
Don and his family reside in Eudora. He has been married to his wife, Mary, for 20 years, and he describes her as his greatest supporter. They have two daughters, Catherine, an 8th grader at EMS, and Megan, a 1st grader at Eudora Elementary.