[Nameplate] Overcast ~ 42°F  
High: 41°F ~ Low: 29°F
Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014

Retiring administrator honored by educators

Sunday, May 5, 2002

(Photo)
Ray Shoaf with fourth grade student Derek Kirkpatrick.
SIKESTON -- Next month marks the end of a 22-year-run for W. Ray Shoaf as the Scott County Central School District superintendent, and while he's perfectly happy at his job, he admits he's ready for a change.

"I'm not burned out," Shoaf said. "But I want to get out while it's still a pleasure. A lot of people don't know when to get out -- like ball players who hang on too long. It's time to make my move."

Shoaf was recently named the Missouri Outstanding Rural District Administrator at the state convention of the Missouri Association of Rural Educators held in Osage Beach, an honor he said he was surprised to receive.

Although Shoaf may have been surprised by the award, his faculty and staff understand completely how he was able to gain the title.

Mary Catherine Eddy, district technology coordinator and high school business education teacher, said she has great respect for Shoaf. "I've always been amazed at how he's able to keep on cutting the edge of technology," Eddy marveled. "We have the best equipment in every room."

Prior to becoming superintendent, Shoaf was a fifth grade teacher for one year and seventh grade teacher and building administrator for four years which have accumulated to his 34-year-long career.

In the 15 years that Eddy has worked with Shoaf, she said Shoaf has been known to do some pretty funny things. "For our talent show, he dressed up as Shania Twain," she said. "And when one of our secretaries turned 50, he greeted her out in the parking lot with a wheel chair. He wheeled her into the school. For holidays, he wears bow ties that light up."

Making people laugh isn't the only thing Shoaf can do. During his tenure, Shoaf has been able to bring about positive community involvement in the school system. He has realized many accomplishments during his years at SCC.

Three building projects were completed. All buildings were remodeled with new lighting, ceilings, floor tile, insulation and heating units and air conditioning replaced in all district buildings. One major achievement was the removal of all asbestos in the building while serving as the abatement contractor and supervising.

Shoaf said that during his time as superintendent, there has never been a tax increase, Proposition C waiver or bond issue defeated. He said this is some indication of the community support he has received and lets him know he has the ability to communicate the needs of the district to patrons.

During the last cycle of the Missouri School Improvement Review, Shoaf's leadership guided Scott County Central to receive the honor of Accreditation with Distinction in Improvement in Performance. This recognition is only one of many that are the results of his leadership in education.

Around the SCC community, Shoaf is also known for not believing in the status quo. "I've always believed that there's not anything we can't do," he said. "I've always been willing to try new things for the school."

Shoaf's "go get 'em" attitude has paid off for the school district. About two years ago, the school applied for an E-rate funding to redo wiring in the school. "It was state-of-the-art," Eddy recalled. "We put five land drops in the classrooms, even though some classrooms only have one computer. That way if the time ever comes, we can put more than one computer in all of the classrooms, we're ready. That's just how he is. He always looks to the future."

Throughout the years, Shoaf has been involved with several professional organizations, including MARE, MASA, MSTA and MoASBO.

He is actively involved with the community as well. He is past president of the Rotary Club, member and music director of Morley Baptist Church and chairman of the Morley Baptist Day Care Board of Directors. In addition, Shoaf has coached summer baseball teams at all levels and served as a volunteer fireman.

Shoaf's final day as SCC superintendent is June 28. While he's going to miss his co-workers and students, he said he is looking forward to spending more time with his five grandchildren and traveling with his wife.

The 2002-2003 school year will consist of many changes, not just for Shoaf, but for the SCC administration. Jo Ann Northern, elementary principal, will take Shoaf's place, which leaves a spot open for the elementary principal, and the high school principal is also leaving after this year, Shoaf said.

"The entire administration is going to be new," Shoaf said. "But I know it will all work out fine."