The Neosho community will learn today who the district's new superintendent will be.

The Neosho community will learn today who the district's new superintendent will be.

Brett Day, president of the Neosho R-5 Board of Education, said the board selected the district's new leader in a closed session meeting on Monday.

They plan to announce the name of the new superintendent today, he said.

Day said the board held one round of interviews, in which they spoke with seven of the 28 applicants.

The search was handled by John Boise and Bob Watkins, consultants with the Missouri School Boards' Association, and drew candidates from six states, including Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Kentucky and Tennessee.

The position opened on Oct. 1 and closed Oct. 31.

The board's announcement comes slightly earlier than expected, as they had aimed to select a candidate by the end of the year.

Following the closing date, Watkins said the district had attracted an impressive group of candidates.

"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."

The district also worked to collect public input in the search, and held a community forum as well as distributed survey forms in school buildings throughout the district to learn what characteristics Neosho residents would like to see in the new superintendent.

Watkins said the Neosho residents' input indicated that they hope to see a superintendent who will forge a strong relationship with the Neosho community and possesses strong moral character.

The board voted to hire MSBA to assist in the search last June, shortly after former superintendent Richard Page left for a position with the Gravette, Ark. school district.

The board selected Alma Stipp, formerly the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, to serve as superintendent for a one-year term.

The new superintendent will begin their duties July 1, 2013.