Members of the Fort Osage community will soon have the opportunity to welcome the school district’s new leader.

Members of the Fort Osage community will soon have the opportunity to welcome the school district’s new leader.

The Fort Osage Alumni Association is sponsoring a reception for Mark Enderle, the new superintendent of the Fort Osage School District, next month. The event is from 1 to 3 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Fort Osage High School Performing Arts Center, 2101 N. Twyman Road.

Enderle will become the new superintendent July 1, following Larry Ewing’s retirement in June. He is currently the superintendent of the Fulton School District and has been in Fulton for more than 20 years. Prior to becoming superintendent, he served as assistant superintendent for four years and was also principal and assistant principal of Fulton Middle School. He began his career in education as a social studies teacher at Fulton Middle School, where he taught for seven years.

Stephanie Smith, public information director for the Fort Osage School District, said the reception  will allow the public to come and visit with both Enderle and his wife Theresa. She said it is “an excellent chance” to meet the new Fort Osage leader.

“This reception serves as an open house for the community,” she said. “I think it is somewhat common to have this sort of event to welcome a new superintendent. But for Fort Osage, our community is such as big supporter of the schools that we wanted to offer a way for anyone to be introduced to the next person who will be leading us.”

Enderle said in an interview last month that he was “overwhelmed with everyone’s affection and loyalty toward the school district,” making the move seem like a great fit for his family.

Enderle’s youngest son Ryan, who will graduate from Fulton High School in May, will also be making the move with his parents. He plans to attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City next fall.

“There was something about the Fort Osage position that attracted me,” he said. “It presented a new set of challenges for me, and it felt like it was the size of district that I could be superintendent instead of someone managing a bureaucracy.”

Smith said the open house also allows the alumni association to have more of a central role in giving Enderle a formal welcome.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for this organization to step forward to say ‘welcome,’” she said. “It is a chance for people to say hello and to put a face with a name that they have been hearing about.”

In case of inclement weather, Smith said a cancellation notice will be posted on the district’s Web site, as well as through e-mail, the district’s e-newsletter and text messaging.