The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 5, 2012

Neosho school district hires superintendent

By Josh Letner

NEOSHO, Mo. — Alma Stipp has been hired as the new superintendent of Neosho schools.

Neosho Board of Education President Brett Day said the decision to hire Stipp was an easy one. The board voted 6-0 in favor of Stipp during a special meeting Friday afternoon.

Stipp, who has served as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in the district for the last six years, takes over July 1. She will replace Richard Page, who is stepping down to accept the superintendent post with the Gravette, Ark., school district.

“Alma has been in our district for 27 years as a teacher, principal and central office administrator and she was the logical choice,” Day said. “We’re glad to have the opportunity to hire her.

“In our schools we have a character program,” he added. “We teach our kids traits such as honesty, integrity and perseverance. Alma is the personification of our character program.”

Stipp was hired on a one-year contract.

Day said the board decided to hire an interim superintendent to allow it to take its time in selecting a permanent replacement for Page. He said it is important for students, parents and residents to see that the board is doing its due diligence in selecting a superintendent. He also said board members felt there wasn’t enough time to conduct a comprehensive search before Page departs at the end of next month.

Page, who has worked with Stipp since he arrived in the district 12 years ago, called her an excellent choice for the post.

“She’s done a good job as an assistant superintendent and she’ll do a wonderful job as superintendent,” he said. “I think that everyone will agree that the board has always had a good relationship with her. ... I’m pleased to see the district is moving in the right direction and I’m really pleased with that.”

Stipp could not be reached for comment Saturday.

Last week the district also announced the hiring of Ric Cook on a one-year contract to continue serving as financial advisor. Cook, who is a former superintendent with the Seneca school district, was hired to fill the void left by the departure of Assistant Superintendent Jim Cummins in December. Cummins accepted a position with Crowder College.

The board last week also announced the promotion of Linda Condict to the position of assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. Condict was previously principal of Benton Elementary.

MSBA search

In June, a representative of the Missouri School Boards Association will attend the Neosho Board of Education meeting to advise it on the MSBA’s superintendent search services.