MONETT, Mo. — Russ Moreland, the superintendent of Pierce City schools, will take over the top job at the Monett School District.
Moreland on Wednesday said it's "bittersweet" to leave Pierce City, but he looks forward to helping Monett move forward.
"It just was a good opportunity and, quite honestly, the only place I would have left Pierce City for," he said.
Moreland returns to Monett, where he worked earlier in his career, with 17 years of administrative experience, including 10 years as a superintendent, the school district said. He has served as the Pierce City superintendent since 2013; he also worked in that district from 2006 to 2011. For two years, from 2011 to 2013, he worked for the Scott Regional Technology Center in Monett. Before his tenure in Pierce City, he was a teacher and a coach in Marionville and in Monett.
"Mr. Moreland will provide the high expectations and professionalism expected from the superintendent of the Monett community, continuing the time-honored tradition of excellence in our school district," officials said in an announcement of his hiring posted on the district's website. "His high expectations of students, teachers and staff — plus his passion for education — will no doubt keep the Monett district on track, living up to the school's mission statement — Student Focused, Future Driven."
Moreland will succeed Brad Hanson, who was named in April as assistant superintendent of schools in Pittsburg, Kansas. He'll begin July 1.
"My goals initially are to do a lot of listening the first 90 days," he said. "From prior conversations (with Monett officials), we'll spend some time on future facility needs for the district and obviously continue to work on and improve our APR (Annual Performance Report) score, but primarily my goal is to listen to the staff, administration, board and community, and find out what direction we need to go."
Moreland will serve as president of the Southwest Missouri Association of School Administrators for the 2018-19 academic year, having served as its vice president during the current year. He also is an adjunct instructor for William Woods University and Drury University.
In addition, he has served on the board of directors for the Southwest Center for Educational Excellence, based in Webb City, and the Clark Community Mental Health Center.
The Pierce City School District has posted the open superintendent position through June 18.