Dr. H. Gearl Loden, PH.D.
Nixa Public Schools Hires Dr. H. Gearl Loden, Ph.D. As Superintendent
Nixa Public Schools is honored to announce that Dr. H Gearl Loden will be the new superintendent for Nixa Public Schools beginning July 1, 2018.
Dr. Loden is currently the superintendent at Tupelo Public School District in Tupelo, Mississippi, where he has served in that position for six years. Prior to that he has served as a superintendent, principal, human resources director, and classroom teacher.
“Nixa has a high level of academic excellence both locally, in the state, and in the nation. It is an example of a community providing high levels of support for their teachers and staff and is a destination for families to bring their children. I am excited to carry on this tradition of academic excellence and community involvement,” stated Dr. Loden.
Scott McDonald, Nixa Board of Education president, stated, “After a nationwide search we believe that Dr. Loden is the best superintendent to guide Nixa Public Schools over the next decade. Dr. Loden comes from a school district larger than Nixa and has faced some of the challenges that our school and state may encounter in the future.”
While at Tupelo, Dr. Loden was able to accomplish the following:
- Improved state achievement ranking from 46th to a high of 16th during a five-year period
- Achieved a NICHE Rating of #6 out of 147 Mississippi School Districts
- Reduced major discipline infractions from 1,092 in 2011-12 to 135 in 2016-17
- Forged community-wide relationships that led to the passage of a $44-million-dollar bond issue with 85.59% voter approval that resulted in significant facilities upgrades and additions
- Increased the district's graduation rate from 72.4% in 2012 to over 86.6% in 2016
- Increased the schools reserve fund balance from $13.49 million dollars to over $33.41 million dollars without raising taxes during a time of state funding cuts
- Expanded the district's early childhood program
- Implemented a district-wide STEM initiative
- Modernized the athletic facilities
- Increased district security through FEMA safe rooms, secured entries, and expanded background checks
- Established community advisory councils across the district
Dr. Loden was named the 2015 Mississippi State Superintendent of the Year. He has also received the Tupelo/Lee County NAACP – S.L. Ratcliff Education Award in 2015 and was named a Hometown Hero by Alpha Kappa Alpha in 2012.
Dr. Loden has been actively involved in his community serving as the chair of the Health Works North Mississippi Board of Directors, a member of Rotary International, a board member of Tupelo/Lee County Community Development Foundation, and a board member of the Hancock Learning Foundation.
He and his wife Monica have been married for 20 years and have two sons, Trey (16 years old) and Arthur (9 years old).
“I have been able to see great teachers, support staff, and administrators in Nixa, and I am honored to be able to lead such an amazing team of people,” stated Dr. Loden.
Dr. Loden has a Ph. D in Education Leadership from the University of Mississippi (Phi Kappa Phi-honors graduate), a Masters of Business Administration from Western Governors University, a Masters in Education Leadership from University of Mississippi (Phi Kappa Phi-honors graduate), and a Bachelors in Education from Delta State University (Pi Gamma Mu & Kappa Delta Pi-honors graduate).
McDonald added, “The Nixa School District is extremely fortunate to have someone with Dr. Loden’s credentials to lead Nixa Public Schools. You cannot replace Dr. Kleinsmith and we do not want to do so. You can only build upon the successes that he and his team have achieved at Nixa.”