The superintendent of the Jefferson City Public School District announced his retirement at the end of the 2014-2015 school year.
Brian Mitchell, superintendent of the 21st largest school district in the state of Missouri, will be stepping down as superintendent after almost six years with the Jefferson City Public Schools. Mitchell was announced as the superintendent on July 1, 2009, replacing Bert Kimble who had served the district for 12 years.
A Bolivar, Mo. native, Mitchell worked as an elementary and middle school teacher, an assistant school principal and principal prior to serving as superintendent of the Jefferson City School District. He also served as superintendent of the Fair Play R-2 School District and the deputy superintendent of the Independence School District before joining JCPS.
The news of his retirement was unexpected.
“I really am still, kind of basically in a state of shock. I wish him the best, it sounds like he has an exciting opportunity, and what’s best for him and his family, but I’m disappointed that he’s leaving the district with such a short tenure here,” said Joy Sweeney, member of the Jefferson City School Board.
Mitchell served as superintendent for almost six years, compared to his predecessor, Bert Kimble's 12 years and Chris Straub's eight years before that.
Sweeney believes that Mitchell’s greatest achievement in his years as superintendent was the implementation of one-to-one iPad devices in 9th grade classrooms throughout the school district. This was part of the “One to World” program introduced in the school district.
Although the Board has not had a chance to meet since the announcement of Mitchell’s retirement, Doug Whitehead, vice president of the Jefferson City School Board, has a few ideas of what the Board will be looking for in a future superintendent.
"We are seeking an excellent leader, an excellent communicator, somebody that could come in and have an interest in closing the achievement gap, working for all kids, for being innovative," Whitehead said.
The Board of Education will develop the search for the next superintendent over the next few weeks.