Welcome to my blog. I hope you find the visit useful. If there is something that you are looking for specifically or would like more information regarding the district or educational program in general, please post a comment and I will respond and/or make the addition to the blog.
The purpose of the blog is to keep the community informed about the school and what projects, reports, policies, and issues are being worked on. My administrative goal is to work as transparent as possible. This blog is another way to do so.
Below is a little history about myself.
I graduated from Parkway West High School in 1989. I have been an educator for 15 years and counting. After receiving my Bachelor’s Degree from Southwest Missouri State in 1995, I began working as an aide for the Springfield School District at Weaver, Delaware, and Campbell Elementary Schools. I completed my student teaching at Delaware and worked summer school in a classroom with students who had Autism. This was an exciting experience which truly opened my eyes to the joys of working with children who need you the most.
I was offered my first full time teaching experience with the Gainesville School District, located in Ozark County. This was my first experience in a rural community. I fell in love with the area and Bull Shoals Lake. Since this experience, I have made a career working in rural schools. I taught second grade for two years and was honored with the opportunity to teach kindergarten. During my tenure with the Gainesville School District I was very involved with summer school programs, the Missouri Assessment Program, and teacher professional development.
During my second year of teaching kindergarten I applied for a principal’s position with the Lutie School District. I accepted the position and began my administrative career in July 2000. During my tenure at Lutie I was immersed in the Accelerated School’s Program, influential with curriculum construction and revision, highly involved in overseeing the special education program, assessment coordinator, a leader in teacher professional development, I helped implement a new reading curriculum, Success for All, and everything associated with running an effective elementary program.
After five years of service as elementary principal I was offered the position of superintendent.
During my tenure as superintendent the school facilities experienced considerable improvement. We completed a new roof, new basketball floor, lighting and energy improvements throughout the district, and extensive landscaping and drainage construction to keep water away from the building. We also paved the building’s parking lot, completed an outside computerized marquee with the school’s logo, established a community walking trail and purchased two trailers for counseling offices and classrooms. All of this occurred while maintaining a balanced budget.
To the credit of the teachers and administration, the district’s academic program had a history of annual improvement. During my two years of service with Lutie as superintendent we completed our third cycle Missouri School Improvement Program Review. The district scored highly. The high score on its accreditation review was made even more joyous with the realization that seven years earlier the Lutie School District became one of the first schools to lose its accreditation. Our high school program consistently maintained state recognition for being a Top Ten School consistently from 2004 through 2008 (Way to go Mrs. Kennworthy and Mr. Misek!). Our Junior High Communication Arts, High School Communication Arts, and High School Mathematics classes received Most Improved School and Highest Performing School distinctions.
During my final year with the Lutie School District I was influential in the successful passage of a tax levy. The district was in its final years of having to run a debt service levy to pay back money borrowed for building construction. We were able to raise the operational levy to secure additional state funding for the district while also lowering the amount of the total school levy.
In July 2007 I began working for the Van-Far School District. During my tenure as Superintendent many improvements were made to the buildings and facilities. During the 2007-2008 school year, we completed a two million dollar bond construction project, made major renovations to bathrooms in the high school, installed fire alarm systems in the Junior High and Senior High School as well as the Elementary School. During the 2011-2012 school year we successfully passed a $1.4 million bond with very strong public support to install a new elementary roof, tuck-pointed both buildings and install new boilers at the high school. Beyond this construction we repaired the exterior canopies at the high school, updated the district’s computer systems and servers, installed new computer labs, and built new offices for the special education and counseling, a new greenhouse to support our FFA program and new locker rooms for the high school boys and girls.
We made significant improvements in the academic program. In April 2007, the high school successfully secured A+ designation. The elementary successfully implemented the Success for All Reading Program in 2008 and restructured its mathematics program in 2009. As a result of teacher, parent, and administrative determination to teach these programs to the best of our ability the elementary building progressed our of needs improvement on the No Child Left Behind indicators as a result of major student performance assessment data. As a result of this success, at the start of the 2010-2011 school year the Success for All reading program was implemented in the junior high.
Recently, I accepted the Superintendent’s position with the Southern Boone County. I am looking forward to another successful school year and transition. I am very excited about being part of the team.
Rapid improvement in academic programs and facility design is due largely to a committed teaching and administrative staff and the cooperation of the board of education and involvement of the community. There are no silver bullet programs toward reforming education; rather it requires the intentional focus of a committed team of professionals. I have been lucky to work with such people throughout my career.
In closing I owe much of my success to my parents, Tom and Kate, my brother, Joshua, my wife, Melissa and my four children Erica, Chris II, Amanda, and Garrett, countless teachers as well as the Springfield, Gainesville, Lutie, Van-Far and the Southern Boone County boards of education. I have been fortunate to work with highly skilled educators; Terry Clayton, Patricia Arnold, Garry and Cindy Pirch, Tom Nichols, Curtis Lloyd, Dr. Allan Crater, Diana Premer, Karla Eslinger, Ron McSorley, Jay Reese, Kaye Bartels, Linda Hays and many others who have made positive lasting impressions on me!
Everybody has at least one teacher who has had an effect on their lives. God in heaven, wherever you are, Mrs. Moor, my special education teacher from Parkway West High School, thank you for the countless hours you spent helping me, the potential you realized within me, and for helping me take the ACT test. My career would not be what it is without your profound influence! God Bless You!