SIKESTON â€" Starting July 1 several local school administrators will be doing a quick shuffle â€" either within their own districts or at a new one â€" as the fiscal year begins for the 2005-2006 school year.
After working three years as the Scott County Central superintendent, Jo Anne Northern will leave the district at the end of the month to begin another administrative position at Poplar Bluff R-1 Schools, working as the director of early childhood and Title I.
In April Northern asked the district's Board of Education to release her from contract, she recalled.
Beyond this year I had three more years, and they were just gracious enough to let me out, and they've always been supportive," Northern said about the district's board of education.
Northern called her move a good opportunity and one she couldn't pass up. Her new job will be a change in focus, she noted, adding a superintendent's job is very time-demanding, which can be hard on a family.
"I don't know if people realize there are a lot of jobs involved with being a small-school superintendent. In larger school districts, they have a person who does finance or the transportation and so on, and at a small school, you are everything.
"But that also makes you really learn the business and the craft really well, and if you do decide to change (jobs), you have those experiences," pointed out Northern, who called her Scott Central experiences invaluable.
Throughout Northern's run as superintendent, the district saw higher Missouri Assessment Program scores, and as a result received school improvement waivers from the state for accreditation. And last year, voters in the district approved a bond issue to build a junior high wing and high school gym, which is nearing completion.
Although she was the only female superintendent in Scott County, Northern admitted she never thought much about it.
"There were lots of colleagues I could call or talk to and that part never really crossed my mind," Northern said.
Prior to her role as superintendent, Northern served as the district's elementary principal for two years, and before that she was at the Bloomfield School District.
"These are friendships I will take with me that will last a lifetime," Northern said about leaving. "These people genuinely care about kids, and I couldn't ask for a nicer group to work with."
Northern's leaving also meant the loss of a principal for the New Madrid County R-1 District.
Dr. Joel B. Holland, who is currently the principal at New Madrid County Central High School, accepted the Scott Central position.
"He lives in Morley, and he's a hometown guy ... It's a really good thing," Northern said about the district's hiring of Holland.
With Holland's resignation, John Garner will be New Madrid County Central High School's new principal.
Another administrative change at New Madrid County R-1 is the resignation of superintendent Dr. Mike Barnes, who served nearly 25 years in the district. Current assistant superintendent Bill Nance, who also has 25 years in the district, will be the new superintendent. The district will not hire a new assistant superintendent, rather those duties will be distributed to other established positions, a school official said.
And at Sikeston R-6, Dr. Stephanie Reddick, who is finishing up two years in the district, recently resigned from her position as the district's assistant superintendent of middle grades and curriculum.
"Her husband's family is from Arkansas, and they're relocating down there. She's taking a principalship down there at an elementary school," said Sikeston R-6 Superintendent Steve Borgsmiller. "We hate to lose her."
But school officials are pleased with Reddick's replacement â€" Dr. Marisa Bowen, who is the current principal at Matthews Elementary in Sikeston.
Bowen has been in the district for 25 years, and her position at Matthews is being filled by Jeanne Anne Sullivan, current assistant principal at the Middle School. Sullivan's position has not been filled, Borgsmiller said.
In the Charleston R-1 District, Oliver French will leave his middle school position as principal and return to the classroom as a teacher. Pam Ferrell, current middle school assistant principal, will take on the position.
Following the retirement of Oran Elementary Principal William Fredenburg, who served 10 years in the district, current elementary/middle school counselor Kristy Unger will be the new principal.