USD 428 Administration
Khris Thexton is the Superintendent of Schools for Great Bend USD 428. He serves the students and families of our community through general oversight of the district, ensuring fiscal responsibility, and forging community partnerships.
Under Mr. Thexton’s Leadership, USD 428 successfully completed the five-year Kansas Education System Accreditation (KESA) in 2019, earning exemplary marks from their Outside Visitation Team.
Always working to connect the schools with the community, he serves as a member of the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and represents USD 428 on a variety of community initiatives and state-wide education committees.
Mr. Thexton achieved his Masters in Administration from Kansas State University, an endorsement in District Administration from Fort Hays State University, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas.
During his career public education, Khris has been a classroom teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent. Mr. Thexton’s career has taken him from one side of Kansas to the other, Marysville to Liberal, landing in the heart of Kansas, Great Bend, for the past six years.
Mr. Thexton is married to Rachel, who is a guidance counselor at Great Bend High School. Together they have three children who also attend Great Bend Schools, Paige, Kade, and Kolbie.
USD 428 District Education Center, 2016 – Present: Superintendent of Schools
USD 428 District Education Center, 2013 – 2016: Assistant Superintendent
Marysville USD 364, 2009 – 2013: Superintendent of Schools
Liberal, KS McDermott Elementary and West Middle School, 2004-2009: Principal
Marysville USD 364, 1999 - 2004: Teacher, 8th & 9th Grade Science
"All parents want the best for their kids. As a parent, I will work to ensure my kids get the best education possible. That has become my passion for all students in Great Bend. I want all students in Great Bend to receive the same high-quality education that I demand for my own children."
John Popp is the Assistant Superintendent for Great Bend USD 428. He works primarily with Human Resources and supporting parents, students and employees with concerns or complaints that they may have.
After serving as the Assistant Principal at Great Bend High School from 2008 to 2012, Mr. Popp moved to the District Education Center in July of 2012. Before assuming his current role as Assistant Superintendent in 2017, he worked as the Director of Curriculum.
Mr. Popp earned his Master’s in Education Administration and Leadership from Kansas State University in 2004, where he previously received his Bachelor’s Degree in Math and Science. Mr. Popp later achieved his District Level coursework and licensure in 2009 from Fort Hays State University.
Mr. Popp says his greatest accomplishments start with marrying the woman of his dreams - Wendy - who is an outstanding Math teacher at Great Bend High School. That led to son Jordan who is attending KSU School of Engineering, and daughters Anna, Great Bend High School and Sophie who is in Great Bend Elementary Schools. Other accomplishments that Mr. Popp is proud of include a shining star award from JCHS on being an exemplary teacher, Area 6 Assistant Principal of the Year, and the emails and phone calls from past students who thank him for his contributions to their lives. Mr. Popp is most proud of the years he spent as a teacher, directly influencing the lives of students.
USD 428 District Education Center, 2017 - Present: Assistant Superintendent
USD 428 District Education Center, 2012 – 2017: Director of Curriculum
Great Bend High School, 2008 – 2012: Assistant Principal
Junction City High School, January 2000 – May 2008: Teacher, Geometry, Physical Science and Physics. Mr. Popp also served as the Freshman Academy team leader and assistant principal, and the School improvement team chair.
JoAnn Blevins brings ample classroom instruction and building administration experience to serve USD 428 as the Director of Teaching & Learning. She works to support teachers across USD 428 in providing student instruction that meets and exceeds educational standards and fosters positive educational outcomes.
In addition to overseeing district curriculum, Mrs. Blevins manages professional development offerings, oversees USD 428’s Federal and State Title programs, ESL classes, MTSS (Multi-Tier System of Support) sustainability, Social-Emotional Learning, Parents as Teachers, after school programs and enrichment, as well as the Parent Teacher Resource Center.
Mrs. Blevins has completed nearly 25 years in USD 428. She began at Riley Elementary as a 6th-grade teacher before advancing her career as an instructional coach, assistant principal, and then principal for 12 years. Blevins earned a master's in Education Administration in 2006. Prior, she attended Emporia State University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1999. A constant learner, Mrs. Blevins is proud of the professional growth and support she has received at USD 428 throughout her career.
Mrs. Blevins is married to Jim Blevins who is the Director of Facility Management at Barton Community College and they have two children, Josie and Wyatt. Outside of work, their family enjoys spending time at softball games, wrestling tournaments, and football games.
USD 428 District Education Center, 2023 - Present: Director of Teaching & Learning
Eisenhower Elementary, Great Bend – 2019-2023: Principal
Riley Elementary, Great Bend: Principal (2011-2019), Assist. Principal (2007-2011), Instructional Coach (2003-2007), 6th-Grade Teacher (1999-2003)
District Education Center
201 S. Patton Road, Great Bend, KS 67530-4613
P (620) 793-1500
F (620) 793-1585
Monday - Friday, 7am - 4:30pm