Joey Menninga has taken over as assistant principal and athletic director at Chisholm Middle School. Menninga has been with the Newton school district since 2004. Before taking this position, Menninga was the director of the Chisholm and Santa Fe 5/6 Center orchestras.

“I wanted to take on a role where I could more actively support teachers and students in the school building,” Menninga said. “You can do that as an orchestra teacher with all the students you have and working with staff, but you don’t have as much say in the decisions that are affecting teachers or students."

Menninga’s experience coordinating and communicating with large groups of people in his role as a music director will come in handy as assistant principal. He also said he wanted to have someone with a fine arts background in leadership.

“To be able to be a part of decisions that are hopefully going to positively benefit everyone in the building was something I really wanted to be a part of,” Menninga said.

Menninga’s love of music stretches beyond his job. He has performed with music ensembles in a variety of locations, including Carnegie Hall, Disneyland, Tijuana, Mexico, Sweden and across the United States. He continues to be involved in a number of performance ensembles, including the Newton Mid-Kansas Symphony Orchestra and Silver Sound String Quartet. Currently, Menninga plays violin/fiddle with a local Irish punk rock-inspired band called The Sassanachs.

Menninga is replacing Everardo Flores, who was moved to assistant principal at the high school. He holds a master’s degree in music education and educational leadership from Wichita State University and a bachelor’s degree in music education and viola performance from Bethany College.