Southern Boone School District gets community input on superintendent search

Dec 6, 2012

The Missouri School Board Association hosted a forum, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, at Southern Boone High School about the Southern Boone School District's search for a superintendent.
Credit Lukas Udstuen / KBIA

After some controversy in its school district the Ashland community is working with state education officials to find a new schools superintendent for its Southern Boone School District. The Missouri School Board Association hosted a forum at the high school Wednesday night to discuss the search a new superintendent.

About 13 community members, some of them also school board members, showed up last night to offer input on the qualities required for the next Southern Boone superintendent.

Ashland area resident Ernie Ren has two kids enrolled in the Southern Boone School District. He says he hopes to see a superintendent that can take academic success to the next level: “We’ve been very strong kindergarten through 8th grade – excellent test scores. I’d like to see a superintendent that has a proven track record of increasing ACT and SAT scores for high schoolers, as well as college prep.”

Earlier this summer, Former Assistant Superintendent Carolyn Deffenbaugh issued a letter of resignation. In it, she hit Superintendent Charlotte Miller with allegations of favoritism, mismanagement and careless spending. Deffenbaugh is no longer with the district. Deffenbaugh accused Miller of favoring former Middle School Principal Bob Simpson with extra staff and undeserved raises – Simpson resigned earlier this summer.

This past September, Miller received a professional improvement plan. The school board considered the plan a personnel document and could not address specifics of it, but said it outlined ways for Miller to improve.

Robert Watkins presided at last night’s meeting. He’s a representative from the Missouri School Board’s Association and says the changes in the district affect an important group in the schools: The teachers: "They're concerned about the leadership of the school district,” he says. “They know that there's a lot of challenges, academically, financially, facility wise, and so on. And, they obviously want the best person they can get in the job.”

Watkins says he’s received two applications from prospective superintendents and expects to receive approximately 25. Candidates have until January 7th to apply.