Robert Webb, who was recently hired as the next Kirksville R-III School District superintendent, visited the district’s campus Monday to meet with teachers and administrators for the first time.
“The intention was for me to just start to hear what the staff needed from the superintendent,” Webb said. “I met with all the leadership, all the principals, supervisors, assistant principals.”
Webb said he also visited all of the buildings on Kirksville R-III’s campus to see the status of the facilities and get a feel for the district’s current level of security. He said the most important part of his visit, however, was talking to teachers.
“I got some great feedback and felt very comfortable with the honesty of the leadership team. That’s crucial for me to do my job. I hope that they will always feel that my door is open, because I believe that it is.”
Webb was hired as the district’s new superintendent after a search by the Kirksville R-III Board of Education with the help of a consultant from the Missouri School Boards Association. The district’s current superintendent, Dr. Damon Kizzire, has resigned effective at the end of this school year.
Webb is currently a superintendent at the Monte Vista School District in Colorado. He has taught physical education, social studies and Spanish and held previous positions as a special education director and a high school, middle school and elementary principal in states including Wyoming, Arizona and Washington. He expects to earn a doctorate degree in education from the University of Wyoming in December.
A major priority for Webb as a superintendent, he said, is to ensure that teachers feel comfortable speaking with him about their concerns and feel that they are on the same team.
“That’s about being transparent, about trying to find how I can be a source of support to them and not a hindrance to what they need to do,” Webb said.
Webb said he was also able to meet several high school students and had previously been interviewed by the editor of the student newspaper. He said he hopes to meet with more groups of students in the near future.
While he has not spent much time in Kirksville so far, Webb said he was able to visit Thousand Hills State Park and was charmed by the city and the landscape.
“That’s part of the reason why we wanted to live here,” Webb said. “We love the hills of Missouri.”
Webb will continue with his current position in Monte Vista until the end of June and take over as Kirksville’s superintendent at the beginning of July, he said.