Jim Cummins, EdD has been chosen to lead Seneca R-7 School District. Cummins, a Neosho resident, signed his contract Tuesday, July 7, to become Seneca Superintendent of Schools.

The Seneca R-7 School District has hired a new superintendent.

Dr. Jim Cummins, Neosho, current vice president of finance at Crowder College, signed the contract on Tuesday to become the new superintendent.

“I had been contacted by some folks about the opportunity, I investigated it more, had a chance to sit down and talk to the [Seneca] board, it just seemed like an awesome opportunity and a challenge,” Cummins told the Neosho Daily News, “It has been a great school district for quite sometime. It’s an opportunity to go down there, work with them and see what we can accomplish.”

Cummins has had a long line of experience in education, which included coaching in the Neosho R-5 School District and business instructor at Neosho High School.

“I coached for about 10 years, but I was there as a business teacher for about five years,” he added. “I was a principal at Diamond High School for a year, superintendent at Wheaton for three years, then assistant superintendent at Carl Junction and Neosho before coming to Crowder College.”

Cummins has been at Crowder College for the past two and a half years.
“The superintendent job duty is pretty much the operations of the entire school,” he said. “So everything academic, achievement, budgeting, security, board and community relations, it is an all-encompassing type position.

“But my goals will be to help the folks down there be successful, to have successful students, teachers, help the board be successful, setting vision for the district and what we want to accomplish. All of the pieces are in place. I am anxious to get down there and help them just achieve all that they can achieve, help them be successful.”

Seneca School Board president Suzanne Brown said they are looking forward to Cummins to be a part of the school district.

“He has a solid base of experience in area schools — and specifically in the Big 8 Conference.,” she said. “We believe Dr. Cummins will rebuild trust within our district and with the community. We believe Dr. Cummins’ financial experience will be a valuable asset to the Seneca district as we strive to be good stewards of the money entrusted to us by our community.”

Cummins will officially start his new position on July 21. He was one of 30 applicants for the superintendent’s position.

“Crowder is a phenomenal place, and I wasn’t looking to leave, but the opportunity presented itself and I am excited for the new challenge,” said Cummins. “But Crowder has been a great place to work. I think that Dr. Jennifer Methvin (Crowder president) will do an outstanding job. There is just tremendous potential here and I think whoever is the next CFO (chief financial officer) will step into a position that is ever changing, exciting, and being a part of something is really special in Southwest Missouri. There is a little bit of bittersweet leaving. I wanted to be an institutional leader and there is no secret about that. I also wanted to stay in Southwest Missouri. My family loves it here, so we are excited for a new challenge.”