July 1, 2004

Superintendent Huff Retiring After 40 Years With SCR-I School District

The SCR-I Board of Education named Dave Shalley as the new superintendent of schools and promoted Athletic Director Ken Cross to high school principal. After 40 years of service to the Scotland County R-I School District, Superintendent LeRoy Huff announced his retirement at the June 25 meeting of the SCR-I Board of Education.

“I thank the board for the opportunity I have had to work as an employee of this school for 40 years on behalf of the youth of our county,” Huff stated.

The district will promote from within to fill two administrative vacancies.

In executive session at the June meeting, the board voted 6-0 to offer the superintendent position to current high school principal Dave Shalley. (Board member Doug Shalley excused himself from the meeting during the consideration of his brother for the position.) Shalley has served as the high school principal since the retirement of Connie Courtney in 2002.

Athletic Director Ken Cross will assume the high school principal duties. He was offered the position by a 7-0 vote of the board. Cross had been considered for the high school vacancy two years ago when the district went through an extensive interview process.

At all the statewide meetings the board has attended for the past few years, a frequent topic of discussion has been the acute statewide and national shortage of candidates for school administrator positions,” said SCR-I Board President Ellen Aylward. “With Mr. Huff’s retirement, the board’s desire was to find qualified candidates who would be likely to stay in the area and in our system. We were very fortunate to have highly capable people already employed in our district who could step up and fill these vacancies. It has been our desire to promote from within whenever possible. The board has every confidence in Mr. Shalley and Mr. Cross in their new positions.”

Huff will retire from the district effective July 1. However the long-time educator will not abandon the district. He plans to offer his assistance to help in the transition to the new leadership.

“After 40 years I’m not going to just turn my back on this school district,” Huff said. “I’m going to do whatever I can to help this continue to be one of the best schools in the State of Missouri.”

Huff began his education career in 1964 as a social studies and speech teacher. He took his first administrative post, assistant high school principal, in 1971. Three years later he became the coordinator of vocational education. a post he maintained for five years. Secondary school principal was the next step on the ladder. Huff led the high school from 1979 until 1998. For the last six years he has served as SCR-I Superintendent.

In addition to serving the local district Huff also has held numerous state and national posts. He was a member of the board of directors for the Missouri State High School Activities Association and president of the Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals. He also served as chairman of the National Association of Secondary School Principals and was the featured speaker at the 1995 NASSP national convention.

In 1988 Huff was recognized as the Missouri Principal of the Year. He was chosen by the NASSP to travel to China in 1990 for a study mission. In 2003 he was the recipient of the Northeast Missouri Superintendent Association Pearce Award as Superintendent of the Year. This year he was honored with the Outstanding Missouri Rural School District Administrator Award and also was honored by MASA for 25 years with a Distinguished Service to Missouri Schools as Public Administrator award.

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