Student involved in the hire of new superintendent

After the student, faculty, and administration input into who should lead the Warsaw R-IX school district, the school board has selected a Warsaw alum to return as superintendent. Former high school assistant principal, math teacher and coach, Scott Gemes, has accepted the position.
Ellie Murrell, junior class president, was chosen to be the student’s voice on the committee.
“I feel like it is a very big privilege that I was chosen to speak for the students and I look forward to seeing who comes in and see what they are bringing to our school. I am very honored,” Murrell said prior to the interviews.
Murrell surveyed students and took student body questions to the interviews. She was able to meet the candidates.
South school second grade teacher Shannon Alcantara was the staff representative of the superintendent hiring committee. North Elementary Principal Shannon Deckard was the administrative voice on the committee.
“I am humbled, excited and nervous.It is a privilege to be asked to represent our amazing teachers. I take that responsibility very seriously and, therefore, want to represent them well,” Alcantara said before the interviews.
The committee sat in on the interviews and asked a few questions they believed were important for a superintendent.
Murrell asked the student body a list of questions about what the students think a superintendent should be. Murrell’s most common answers were to be approachable, an open listener, a leader, and a role model. The students had lots of opinions about what a superintendent should be or what they want from the superintendent, Murrell said.
Alcantara was also allowed to ask the candidates a list of questions based on what she and the staff think is important for the new superintendent.
“Our superintendent should be one that is a leader who will challenge and encourage our teachers, seek excellence for our students, be fiscally responsible, and come alongside our community,” Alcantara said.
“Our district is filled with great students, wonderful teachers and is supported by a caring and generous community. We just need to select a person who will be able to fuse these elements together, creating a wonderful learning environment for us all,” Alcantara said prior to the interviews. “Warsaw is my hometown. It is my heart. I want someone who will love this school and town as much as I do.”
Interim superintendent Dr. Tony Berry has been serving as superintendent since August and helped the school board in their search.
“Questions revolved around all the aspects of being a superintendent: vision, finance, curriculum, relationship building, human resource, transportation, staffing, activities, physical plant operations, food service, ect.” Berry said.
Dr. Berry said the school board had the help of the Missouri School Boards’ Association to run the search for candidates. The interview team conducted interviews and the school board offered the position to the candidate that was believed to be the best fit for the district based on those interviews.
Until Gemes can take over in July 2022, another interim superintendent will take over, Dr. Brent Depee. Depee is another former Warsaw administrator and a retired superintendent from School of the Osage.
The interviews took place on Saturday, December 4 and Monday, December 6. There were a total of 20 candidates and only six candidates were interviewed. The school board announced the new hire on December 9.
Gemes was a WHS math teacher and then assistant high school principal. He then was principal at Otterville before becoming superintendent at Prairie Home.
“Mr. Gemes is not a stranger to our district, as he is a product of the Warsaw ‘Grow Your Own’ education platform,” School Board President Mike Schockmann said in an email announcement sent to district faculty and staff. “We are excited to welcome Scott, his wife Julie, and son Logan to the Wildcat Family,”