Johanna O’Brien Winter ’10 started a new job on Nov. 1 as city administrator of Girard, Kan. The position may be new to her, but she knows the city in southeast Kansas well. Girard is the county seat of Crawford County and has, as of the 2010 census, a population of 2,789. She grew up in St. Paul, just 19 miles west of Girard via K-47, and she and her husband lived in Labette and Neosho counties before settling on a small farm in Crawford County, where they’ve lived for nearly a decade now. Their kids attend Girard public schools. Winter herself earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kan., and later received both a master’s degree in public administration and a graduate certificate in public finance from Wichita State.
She told The Morning Sun, which covers Pittsburg and southeast Kansas, that she plans to put her education to good use in carrying out the duties of city administrator. “My role will be to objectively inform and perform,” she says. I will be a source of information to the city council, but not the only source. The council makes the executive decisions, and I work to ensure those decisions are executed effectively.” She brings a number of years of experience with her to the job. She was a research assistant at the Kansas Public Finance Center, served as director of the Girard Area Chamber of Commerce and worked as a program director with Catholic Charities in southeast Kansas.