Nixa Public Schools

Michele Skalicky

Devin Strayhorn has had a pretty incredible senior year.  The former Nixa student, who graduated last weekend, got to perform in Carnegie Hall in New York City earlier this year.  He's won a prestigious scholarship, and he earned the title of best tuba player in Missouri.  That’s despite being placed into foster care at the end of his junior year.

Michele Skalicky

Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado was the site of a mass shooting in 1999.  Fourteen students and one teacher were killed by Columbine students armed with guns.  The shooters were also killed.  Twenty children and six staff members were killed in 2012 in a mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.  And in February, a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida claimed a total of 43 lives.

Tragedies like those emphasize the need to make school safety a priority. 

Nixa Public Schools

The Nixa Public School District has announced its new superintendent.  Dr. H Gearl Loden will start the job next July 1.

Loden has served as superintendent of Tupelo Public Schools in Tupelo, Mississippi for the last six years.

Nixa’s Board of Education president, Scott McDonald, said in a news release they chose Loden because he “comes from a school district larger than Nixa and has faced some of the challenges that our school and state may encounter in the future.”

The Nixa Board of Education has narrowed down the superintendent candidates to two finalists.  But the Board isn’t ready to release the names of the finalists.

According to a statement from the school district, “the Board of Education is on track to meet the December 14 date to announce the new superintendent.”

Dr. Stephen Kleinsmith
Submitted Photo / Nixa Public Schools

Nixa Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Stephen Kleinsmith is this year’s Superintendent of the Year, named by the Missouri Association of School Administrators.

The honor was announced during the MASA’s annual fall conference over the weekend in Osage Beach.

Kleinsmith, who is retiring next spring, is in his 18th year as Nixa Public Schools' top administrator.

In a news release, the district notes Kleinsmith has built strong and trusting relationships with the Nixa community.