Nixa Public Schools Hires New Superintendent

NIXA, Mo. - Nixa Public Schools announced that Dr. H Gearl Loden will be the new superintendent for Nixa Public Schools beginning July 1, 2018.

Nixa schools has been searching for a new leader for the past two years since current Superintendent Dr. Stephen Kleinsmith announced he'd be retiring.  Thursday, the district revealed who it's new leader will be.

Dr. Geral Loden is a 27 year veteran of education.  He has been Superintendent of Tupelo, Mississippi schools for the past six years.  "I'm a career educator," Loden tells KOLR10 News.  "I think people will find that I am very involved in the community."

Loden describes the Tupelo school district as "one of the more progressive districts in MIssissppi."

In Tupelo, he helped improve the district's state rankings from 46 to 16 in five years, and helped pass a $44 million bond issue, which earned 85% voter approval.

Kendal Dingus, the parent of a child in the Nixa district, says he hopes Loden can bring similar accomplishments to Nixa.   "Nixa continues to grow.  For him to be able to keep up with that and bring Nixa to the next level, would be great," Dingus says.

Dr. Loden has also worked as a principal and social studies and psychology teacher through his career.

He says his leadership style is friendly.  "And realize that the greatest intervention that we have in our classroom is our teachers," Loden says.  "I think I'm great at managing change and taking pressure off teachers being able to focus on things that matter and not let other things distract."

Loden says Nixa's leadership in innovation is one factor that drew him here.  "Especially if they feel like it's going to give their children a competitive advantage and that's one th ing I like about Nixa."

Dr. Loden has two sons, a 9-year old and a 16-year old.  Both will be attending Nixa schools.  

Friday, he plans to visit classrooms and meet teachers and staff, along with Dr. Kleinsmith.

Kleinsmith will finish out the 2017-2018 school year.  Dr. Loden's first day will be July 1.  His salary is $186,000 a year with a three year contract.

More about Dr. Loden:

Dr. Loden is currently the superintendent at Tupelo Public School District in Tupelo, Mississippi, where he has served in that position for six years.  Prior to that he has served as a superintendent, principal, human resources director, and classroom teacher.

“Nixa has a high level of academic excellence both locally, in the state, and in the nation. It is an example of a community providing high levels of support for their teachers and staff and is a destination for families to bring their children.  I am excited to carry on this tradition of academic excellence and community involvement,” stated Dr. Loden.

Scott McDonald, Nixa Board of Education president, stated, “After a nationwide search we believe that Dr. Loden is the best superintendent to guide Nixa Public Schools over the next decade. Dr. Loden comes from a school district larger than Nixa and has faced some of the challenges that our school and state may encounter in the future.”

Dr. Loden was named the 2015 Mississippi State Superintendent of the Year.  He has also received the Tupelo/Lee County NAACP - S.L. Ratcliff Education Award in 2015 and was named a Hometown Hero by Alpha Kappa Alpha in 2012.

Dr. Loden has been actively involved in his community serving as the chair of the Health Works North Mississippi Board of Directors, a member of Rotary International, a board member of Tupelo/Lee County Community Development Foundation, and a board member of the Hancock Learning Foundation.

(edited press release)
 


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