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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Residents: Morals, involvement make good superintendent

  • A strong investment in the Neosho community is what many Neosho residents hope to see from the Neosho R-5 School District's next superintendent, according to a recent survey.
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  • A strong investment in the Neosho community is what many Neosho residents hope to see from the Neosho R-5 School District's next superintendent, according to a recent survey.
    As part of the district's superintendent search, being conducted by the Missouri School Boards' Association, parents and Neosho community members were invited to give their input as to what qualities they hope to see in the new administrator.
    Dr. Bob Watkins, a consultant for MSBA, said the surveys indicated that Neosho residents value a superintendent who is heavily involved in the community and who possesses strong moral character.
    "One thing is, someone who will come in and really make that community their home," Watkins said.
    Watkins said residents also requested a superintendent with strong leadership skills.
    "What I glean from it is 'we want the school district to move to its highest level,'" Watkins said.
    Watkins will present those survey findings to the Neosho R-5 Board of Education at a special board meeting scheduled for 4 p.m. today at the Neosho Administrative Center.
    He said approximately 400 residents participated in the survey, which he said was better than average.
    Brett Day, board president, said the survey findings reflect some of the many qualities he also hopes to see in the next superintendent.
    "The superintendent is an important part of the community," Day said. "We want somebody that's able to go out there and inspire people."
    Day said it is important that the new superintendent have good communication and leadership skills.
    "There are many characteristics we think the superintendent should possess," Day said. "The board is going to be very demanding."
    Watkins said the district has had 27 applicants from six states: Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Kentucky and Tennessee.
    The position opened on Oct. 1 and closed on Wednesday, Oct. 31.
    Following the presentation from Watkins at today's meeting, board members plan to go into executive session to begin going through the applications, Day said.
    He said the first round of interviews will be held in November, and the board members are hoping to select the successful candidate by the end of December.
    Watkins said the district has attracted an impressive group of applicants.
    "It's probably as strong a field as I've seen," Watkins said. "The type of district that Neosho is has caused a lot of interest. It's a great location and people see that."
    Watkins said the district's size is also appealing to candidates.
    Board members began discussing the superintendent search in May, after former superintendent Richard Page accepted a position in the Gravette, Ark. school district.
    At that time, the school board appointed Alma Stipp to a one-year term as district superintendent, which is set to expire July 1, 2013.
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