Rebecca Sears, assistant principal at Benton and South elementary schools, was just one of the 72 new teachers in the Neosho R-5 School District and Crowder College who participated in the 47th annual New Teachers Tour, hosted by the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.

“I think Neosho is a great community,” said Sears. “It is a bigger school, I have heard wonderful things about the school, about the leadership, so I wanted to come and learn from all the best.”

The new teachers started off the tour at 8 a.m. at the district’s administration building, going to the Neosho National Fish Hatchery, the YMCA, the historical park, and ending at Crowder College for a lunch.

“I taught for seven years in Nixa, I taught kindergarten and second grade,” she said. “Then I was an reading intervention specialist, then I was a principal for three years in a preschool through eighth grade building at Lockwood.”

Asked what her duties as assistant principal will be when school starts on Wednesday, Aug. 13, Sears said, “Well, I am learning those. I will probably do a lot with parents and with discipline of students, also working with teachers on teacher evaluations and improving instructional practices in the classroom.”

Sears said she is excited for her new endeavor with the school district.

“I was in a smaller school as a building principal, I wanted to be in a bigger school and have other leaders to collaborate with,” she said. “I heard great things about Mr. [Dan] Decker [superintendent of schools] and other leaders in the district. I wanted to work with them and learn from them.”

Asked if she would encourage other teachers to start their career in Neosho, Sears said, “definitely.”

“I think that Neosho has wonderful opportunities for teachers to learn and grow in their profession,” she said. “The things that I have seen so far they have so many opportunities to learn about.”

Another teacher who participated in the tour was Megan Schied, English language arts teacher at Neosho Junior High School.

“I am from Monett, I have been here a few times,” said Schied. “I am kind of familiar with this area, and plus, it was an opening that I would just go ahead and try to see if I could get.”

Schied said she would advise students to “just be ready to have some good times, learn some good stuff, and always smile.”

Both Schied and Sears said they enjoyed the tour of the area.

“I didn’t know that Neosho had so much industry back here by Crowder,” said Schied. “And I didn’t know about Goodman either.”

“It was wonderful. I liked Neosho before, but after the tour, I loved it,” Sears said. “And I felt like I feel more comfortable being here. We saw things that I didn’t know that were here.”