It’s definitely nice to not have the ice and snow to deal with this week like we did last week.

I found myself being irritated as we drove roads in the early morning hours and wrestled with decisions about calling off school, but quickly reminded myself that it is the end of January and this is the first case of bad weather we have had.

Hopefully the bad weather is behind us and no more snow days are in our future. As I thought about what to share this week it was an easy choice, the local Board of Education!

This week, January 24-30, was declared School Board Recognition Week by Governor Jay Nixon. During this week, communities across the state are urged to honor the dedicated service of their local education boards. The goal of this week is to build awareness and understanding of the important functions the Board plays in schools and communities.

Governor Nixon urges Missouri citizens to recognize the important contributions of these men and women as they work together to provide the best quality of education possible to Missouri’s children.

During my time as superintendent at NSD I can honestly say we have one of the best Boards in the state. Throughout my career I have been blessed to work in many districts across Missouri and in doing so, have worked with many boards.

However, I have never had the privilege to work with a board who measures every decision based on what is best for students the way the Neosho School Board does. These men and women work tirelessly to make sure decisions made and money spent are in the best interest of our students and community. They do this day in and day out regardless of whether it’s appreciated or not, and they do it all with a servant’s heart and no compensation.

In my time at Neosho the board has succeeded in establishing the following major initiatives along with the rest of the daily operational items:

• Long and short range facilities plans

• Three FEMA Shelters

• Passage of a $24 million bond issue for a junior high facility

• 1:1 Initiative for grades 9-12

• Rebranding of the Neosho logos and push for renewed school pride.

As a result of their work, the District is moving ahead in its efforts to make Neosho School District the PRIDE of Southwest Missouri.

Personally, when I reflect on what we have going on and the great things we are doing for kids I can’t help but be proud. As I meet with different staff members and groups it amazes me the work we have going on in our buildings. I appreciate you as Board members being visionaries who are committed to doing whatever it takes for the students of Neosho to be successful. I realize this doesn’t happen everywhere and I appreciate it.

Thank you for your encouragement and support as we move forward with the mission “To Inspire High Academic Achievement and Maximize Personal Potential In All Students.” What a GREAT time it is to be a Wildcat!!! Please take time to thank a board member this week for all they do for our students and community!!

By Dan Decker

(Dan Decker is superintendent of the Neosho R-5 School District. He can be reached at 451-8600 or deckerdan@neoshor5.org.)

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