District conducts search for new superintendent


Ally Estes, Staff Writer

   Superintendent Scott Downing has recently announced plans to retire from his position in the Warsaw school district after two years.

  Since becoming the Warsaw superintendent in 2014, he has improved attendance (currently over 90 percent district wide), made renovations to bathrooms/lighting/roofing, and refinanced bonds that saved the district over $1 million.

    “The superintendent is such an important role because they’re the leader of the school. How they carry themselves impacts the rest of the staff and students,” Downing says. “This district has made great strides in achieving its goals.”

    However, despite the changes, Downing has already set in place, he says there is still more that needs to be done.

    “The facilities are in poor condition district wide. Students need new healthy learning environments,” Downing said.

     “The district needs someone with creativity in overcoming budget and scholastic issues and an ability to work with the staff and community,” science teacher Bob Foster said. “Hopefully the new district leader will continue pushing our district in positive directions.”

     “The school needs lots of repairs: roofs, lockers, doors, windows. Aging schools need to be repaired,” History teacher Nathan Parker said. “Student involvement is way down in academics and athletics.”

   The school board is currently requesting input from the faculty and community members to guide their search for a new superintendent. A link is available on the school district website that is open to faculty and anyone in the community.

     “The new superintendent should foster a good community morale, have good financial knowledge, and needs to take staff needs into consideration,” art teacher Jennifer Greene said.

   School board president James Miller has known Downing for the two years he has worked with the board as superintendent.

  Downing previously worked two years at Portageville High School as the principal and then at New Madrid High School for five years. Afterwords, he spent twelve years at East Prairie as superintendent.

  Miller said that the district is currently accepting applications and will be conducting interviews in March. An announcement should be ready on (or prior to) the regularly scheduled board meeting on March 21.

    “The board of education is looking for a community-oriented person with a strong academic background and successful administrative experience. The superintendent should be a leader with integrity and high moral standards who is able to communicate effectively with the board, district staff and community,” Miller said.

     “There’s the potential to completely have a new focus or change everything dramatically if they hire someone from outside the district,” High School Principal Randy Luebbert said. “I think the new superintendent needs to be someone willing to be involved in the community, who is committed to the betterment of all the kids in the Warsaw district, and needs to be able to work with all seven members of the school board and all members of the community to make sure that everyone is working towards the betterment of the district.”