Leading the Pack Part 1

Leading the Pack Part 1
Posted on 07/14/2021

Leading the Pack--Part 1

By:  Christine Harper



Every school district has a group of people (7 total) that is the governing body of the district.  These people come together once a month with the Superintendent, administrators, and directors to discuss and make decisions for the district and what is best for staff and students.  Needless to say, this is not an easy job.  It requires hours of preparation by Central Office staff to put together a packet of information of what is going on in the district.  This is everything from personnel to expenses being paid out to reports from the administration and directors.  For these 7 individuals, it requires a high level of commitment.  We are fortunate to have a Board of Education that truly cares about the health and well-being of the district, its staff, and its students.  Throughout July, I want to showcase our Board members, who they are, and their vision for Mexico Public Schools.  

Dustin Pascoe, board member since 2011, is married and has 3 kids (22, 20, 17).  Dustin has been a Professor of Language and Literature for MACC since 1999.  Dustin says the biggest reward of being a board member is “seeing the BOE focused on the students’ learning  We recognize that what happens in the classrooms and hallways is the most important work of the district.  We have improved our services for students’ emotional well-being, we have reconfigured the elementary schools, and we have invested in our teachers and staff.”

Dustin Pascoe

Dustin says the biggest challenge is “the myopia of those with narrow agendas and, more recently, teacher retention and recruiting.”  Dustin’s vision for the district: “There is no reason whatsoever MPS cannot be the best-achieving district in our region and among our benchmark schools.  Beyond that, we should set our sights on the top 20% of all Missouri schools.  We need great rigor, great application, and great commitment to the best evidence and practices.”

Serving as one of our newest BOE members is long-time teacher and coach, Keith Louder.  After retirement from MPS, Keith is now a Licensed Funeral Director with Arnold Funeral Home.  He has been married to Sheryl for 38 years, and they have two children and their spouses, and two grandchildren.  His biggest reward as a BOE member is “receiving the trust of the community by electing me to the BOE.  As we move forward, I hope to contribute to many rewarding moments in the future.”
Keith Louder

Keith says the biggest challenge for him “has been redefining the role I play in the educational system.  The role of a teacher is much different than the role of a Board member.  My role is to create the opportunities for the teachers, the people who impact students, to be successful.”  Keith’s vision for Mexico Public Schools is “to create an educational environment that all stakeholders can be proud of.  I want students to desire to participate in all the educational opportunities the district has to offer.  I want parents to be actively involved in their children’s education and to feel like part of the system.  I want to employ teachers and administrators that are eager to collaboratively work together to create the very best opportunities for learning.  In a nutshell, I want the community to be proud of their school and parents to cherish the education their child has received.”

My next article will highlight more of our Board members.  Mexico Public Schools from the top down is dedicated to providing opportunities for success for all staff and students.  We are fortunate to have a BOE that supports what we do as educators.