Monett R-1 Schools has an interim superintendent on the job for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.
The Monett school board announced the appointment of longtime educator Kent Medlin to the post, according to a news release. He fills the role following the sudden death of Russ Moreland, who had served as Monett superintendent since 2018. Medlin began work Monday for the district.
“I have great respect for the Monett R-1 School District and have had many good friends serve in the district through the years,” Medlin said in the release. “I am honored to have an opportunity to serve our students and staff. Together, we will ensure every team member has what they need to be successful in the days and weeks ahead.”
Medlin has worked in school district leadership positions in the past. He retired in 2017 after 13 years as superintendent for Willard Public Schools, and he also served as a teacher and administrator for Springfield Public Schools, as well as principal in the Lamar and Willard school districts, according to the release.
“The board appreciates Dr. Medlin’s commitment to serving our district with excellence – especially as we journey through this sad time together,” said Monett R-1 School District Board of Education President Andrew Bahl, in the release. “His depth of experience will be incredibly helpful as we remain focused on serving our students and community.”
It’s the second interim education role for Medlin in as many years. Medlin and Stephen Kleinsmith were appointed in June 2019 as interim co-deputy superintendents of academics for SPS following the departure of Chief Learning Officer Mike Dawson. SPS promoted Nicole Holt in February to deputy superintendent of academics and she took over the role in July from Medlin and Kleinsmith, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.
Drive-thru coffee shop Bigfoot Coffee Co. LLC opened; a pair of Springfield attorneys launched medical marijuana certification clinic The Med Card Co. LLC; and husband-and-wife owners Ryan and Lesley Day debuted their first business venture with the opening of The Farmhouse on Boone Cafe LLC.
Andrea Petersberg, owner of the Local Bevy, says the appeal of a local store holds a lot of value for people in and outside of Springfield. Petersburg says being a supporting part of the local connection for artists is important for her.
Randy Bacon, professional photographer and humanitarian, shares his story on how he left his job in the corporate world to pursue his dream. Now 60 years old and with signature character to his photography and business, he says he still is a 15-year-old boy with a camera.
Becky Thomas, co-owner of Third Street Sportswear, gives her advice for maintaining good relationships with clients. Drawing on her experience working with customers coast to coast, Thomas says equity and fairness are some of the best ways to build trust and respect.
Don Helms, co-owner of Munchie Moe’s, says it's important to know your business and to think ahead of your supply chain. Helms says COVID-19 has changed the way he has experienced business operation. He says foresight is key.
Janet Susdorf, business consultant and founder of Brain Power for Hire, LLC, discusses the importance of adapting and learning from failure. Drawing from the struggles she has faced in her own life as a sixtime cancer survivor, Susdorf talks about when to fight and when to accept change.
Jennifer Charleston, a 20-year veteran of the Springfield Police Department and the only female lieutenant in the department, talks with SBJ’s Christine Temple about her career in law enforcement and her new position in the department as a liaison to the LGBTQ+ community.
Moving from physical meetings to digital meetings can feel like a barrier, but Mackenzie Scherer, an independent technology business consultant, says it can be an opportunity. Scherer says that with good moderation, a digital meeting experience can make people feel more included in the discussion.
Abby Glenn, development director for Habitat for Humanity, says corporate partners are a huge asset to the work they do. Corporate donation matching programs help individual donors feel they are contributing more and help Habitat for Humanity cover the large costs of their projects.
Alex Neville-Verdugo, museum director at the Discovery Center in Springfield, describes the opportunities the Discovery Center has through partnerships with other educational organizations. Neville-Verdugo says the Discovery Center’s virtual learning program reaches across multiple countries, with traffic mostly coming from the U.S. and Canada.
Elizabeth Hurst, business development manager at HR Advantage, says we do see fewer women in the workforce today than before the pandemic. Hurst says many women want more flexible work environments and that is one way employers can capture the female labor force.