Chastain named Assistant Superintendent

Chastain named Assistant Superintendent
Posted on 03/24/2020

March 24, 2020 - Mexico School District 59 administration and Board of Education is pleased to announce Mrs. Melissa Chastain as the incoming Assistant Superintendent. Mrs. Chastain is currently the Principal for Hawthorne Elementary School where she has served for five years. 

Superintendent Zach Templeton is confident that Mrs. Chastain will continue to prioritize the needs of the community's learners first and foremost in her new position with Mexico Public Schools. “Melissa Chastain has demonstrated herself to be an exceptional school leader who puts the needs of children above all else. She is a dedicated and committed educator, who has served her students and her staff at Hawthorne in a manner that has created an environment that serves the emotional, behavioral, and educational needs of all who call Hawthorne home.” 

The Mexico 59 Assistant Superintendent position was posted for interested applicants in late February. Four candidates were interviewed by a team that included representation from district administration, faculty, staff, and the Board of Education. The Mexico 59 Board of Education accepted incoming superintendent Dr. Tammy Lupardus’s recommendation to appoint Mrs. Chastain as the Assistant Superintendent at tonight’s meeting. 

“Serving as the principal at Hawthorne Elementary School for the past five years has been a rewarding experience. The students, staff, and Hawthorne families have helped me grow both personally and professionally. I am very excited and honored to have this new opportunity to work with students, staff, families, and the community in a different capacity to build upon the strong foundation of the Mexico Public School District together,” Mrs. Chastain shared.

Prior to her time at Hawthorne, Mrs. Chastain served for two years as the Assistant Principal at Eugene Field and as a district reading coach for one year. She was also employed as a special education teacher and process coordinator. Mrs. Chastain has worked at Mexico Public Schools for 15 years and served in education for a total of 19 years. 

Mrs. Chastain has completed her doctoral classwork through William Woods University (WWU) and is currently working on her dissertation. She holds an educational specialist degree in administration from WWU, a Master’s in Special Education from the University of Missouri - St. Louis, and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Missouri State University. 


Mrs. Chastain’s work in education is supported through her membership in the Missouri Association of Elementary Principals (MAESP) and the National Association of Elementary School Principal (NAESP). Mrs. Chastain is an avid supporter of Bright Futures-Mexico, who helps students achieve success by matching student needs with resources through community partnerships. Additionally, Melissa is a member of the Auxvasse City Presbyterian Church where she is the pianist.  

Mrs. Chastain is married to Jay Chastain who works as the Client Support Manager at InfiniTech Consulting in Columbia, Missouri. Melissa and Jay are parents of Emily, a sophomore at Columbia College majoring in elementary education, and Haley, a sophomore at Mexico High. 

Melissa Chastain is succeeding Dr. Larry Nelson, who will begin work with Columbia Public Schools in July. Mrs. Chastain will officially assume the role of Assistant Superintendent on July 1, 2020, but will work with Dr. Nelson throughout the spring to ensure a smooth transition into Central Office.