The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 13, 2012

Joplin teachers lauded at school year kickoff celebration

More than 1,200 teachers, administrators and staff members are preparing for Eagles to land with the start of the school term on Wednesday in Joplin.

On Monday morning, a celebration to mark the impending first day of classes was staged at the Holiday Inn Convention Center for school district employees.

“The teachers are amazing; they’ve already proven to the rest of the world that their hearts are all about kids,” Superintendent C.J. Huff said in an interview after the event.

The theme was “Take Flight,” a play on the school district’s mascot and the path the district will need to take to reach its “destination” of higher achievement for students.

“You will know we have arrived at our destination when, as a community, we say with one voice, ‘We do not allow our children to fail in Joplin,’ and everyone knows what that means,” Huff told the teachers.

In his speech, Huff outlined the district’s plans for the coming year, including additional community service opportunities for students, the expansion of early childhood education services, a career pathway curriculum that focuses on making students career-ready, and increased partnerships with local businesses. Huff also mentioned the development of an “employability report card” to measure students’ preparedness to work for area employers.

In addition to a new curriculum, the district is undertaking what may be the largest public school construction project in Missouri’s history as it rebuilds the schools destroyed in the May 2011 tornado, Huff said.

“We’ve come a long way, but we have a long ways to go,” Huff said in an interview. “Our main focus needs to continue to be taking care of our children and our staff members over the next number of months in particular as we move into year two (after the tornado). ...

“Our intentions are to move forward in a big way and take a new step in terms of curriculum implementation, and get the new program in place so when we open the new Joplin High School in 2014, everything is on line to make great things happen inside the walls of that building.”

The keynote speaker for the event was Peter Herschend, president of the Missouri State Board of Education and owner of Herschend Family Entertainment Corp., which owns Silver Dollar City and other parks.

“You have come through a world-class disaster, and you won,” Herschend said of the 2011 tornado. “That took leadership.”

Huff said Herschend worked with the district in the days after the tornado, including helping to provide cellphones for communication in the immediate aftermath.

The district also gave its first Eagle Legacy Award to Mike Woolston, a Joplin city councilman and former mayor. The award is meant to honor an individual or organization that has helped the district the most that year.

Video announcements were sent from Gov. Jay Nixon and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan wishing the teachers the best as they prepare for the new year and thanking them for their commitment.

“Schools are the heart and soul of Joplin,” Nixon said in the video.

Teacher of the Year

THE SCHOOL DISTRICT’S Teacher of the Year award went to Staci Saunders, who teaches first grade at Stapleton Elementary. Saunders is a fourth-generation Joplin schoolteacher.

Text Only
Local News
  • Embezzler from Joplin car dealerships sent to prison

    A federal judge has sentenced Kathryn M. Stayton to 13 months in prison for embezzling more than $100,000 from Frank Fletcher Ford and Credit Cars of Joplin. U.S. District Judge Greg Kays assessed the 36-year-old Joplin woman the prison term at a sentencing hearing this week in federal court in Springfield. The judge also ordered the former controller at both car dealerships to pay restitution totaling $121,249. 51.

    April 18, 2014

  • Screening of MSSU presidential applicants to wrap by end of April

    The Board of Governors at Missouri Southern State University could be in a position to name a president as early as the end of June, according to a timeline presented Friday by the co-chair of the presidential search committee.

    April 18, 2014

  • Teams from Carl Junction, Diamond advance in Destination Imagination

    Student teams from Carl Junction and Diamond will be traveling to Destination Imagination finals May 20-24 in Knoxville, Tenn., after being top finishers in competition this month at Missouri Southern State University.

    April 18, 2014

  • Neosho Dogwood Tour reset, after false start

    The 53rd annual Neosho Dogwood Tour will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 27. The event, presented by the Neosho Rotary Club and the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce, originally was scheduled for Sunday, April 13.

    April 18, 2014

  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

  • Kansas Regents stick with social media policy

    After directing a committee to study a controversial social media policy and make recommended changes, the Kansas Board of Regents appears to not be changing the policy at all. It’s left some in academia baffled by why it appointed the work group in the first place.

    April 18, 2014

  • Pittsburg Farmer's Market to open in new building, new location

    The official market season in Pittsburg, Kan., will kick off in the market’s new pavilion-style building at a new address, 11th and Broadway, on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. Market hours will continue throughout the season on Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to noon, with some Wednesdays or other special days throughout the season as announced.

    April 18, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

Must Read


A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects. The proposed constitutional amendment passed the House earlier this month. If passed by the full Senate, the measure would head to the November ballot for voter approval. Would you vote in favor of it?

     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter