Dr. Gearl Loden

  • Dr. Gearl Loden is in his fifth year at Nixa.  He came to Nixa from Tupelo, Mississippi. 

    Dr. Loden has been able to accomplish the following at Nixa:

    • Achieved NICHE #14 out of 522 Missouri School Districts

    • Achieved NICHE #1 Best in Springfield Metro

    • Nixa High School is one of only 8 schools; and one of only 2 high schools to be named a 2022 Gold Star High School by the MO Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education. 

    • U.S. News and World Report named Nixa High School in 2020 and 2021 as being in the top 10% of the best high schools in the nation and the top high school in the Springfield metro area.

    • First in the state to safely open seated classes for elementary education during the COVID pandemic.

    • Achieved incredible state assessment scores (post-COVID!) : All state-assessments in K-12 performed in the top 7% with 11 areas in the top 10%. 

    • Nixa High School EOC scores were in the top 10 of the state in all areas.

    • SCORE Glenn R. Scott campus of Nixa High School rewarded it’s 500th diploma bringing the total number of graduates to 526 since SCORE began in 1999. 

    • MSHSAA 5-Star Leadership School 6 years running

    • Implemented Teacher PLCs (Positive Learning Communities) throughout the district and are key to student and teacher success. 

    • Implemented the Agriculture/FFA program at Nixa High School

    • Assisted in the development of our new 2020-2025 strategic plan

    • Partnered with Missouri State University to offer a teacher leader development program starting in 2019, and more recently, Pathways for Paras - a special education teacher certification program

    • Implemented a Cox Health partnership for Virtual Clinics to serve all faculty/staff and their school-age children, as well as all Nixa students. 

    • Began a partnership with Alps Pharmacy to deliver prescriptions as needed to employees during working hours. 

    • Formed a partnership with Burrell Behavioral Health to allow for year-round counseling services for our students, as well as social-emotional health PD for our faculty and staff

    • Sources of Strength peer program implemented at Nixa JH and HS

    • The 2019 Bond campaign allowed for every school building to receive upgrades/renovations.

    • The Aetos Center for the Performing Arts is a state-of-the-art, 1,500 seat venue that will not only provide exceptional facilities for our various student programs, but, also bring national stage acts creating a win/win for Christian County and the surrounding area’s economic development. The opening ceremony is slated for February 2023. 

    • Espy Elementary now has  a FEMA Storm Shelter

    • State bus inspections have scored a perfect 100% 25 years in a row. 

    Dr. Loden and Nixa School Board received the 2021 Nixa Area Chamber of Commerce Community Impact Award in conjunction with the City of Nixa. The City of Nixa selected Dr. Loden as the 2021 Citizen of the Year.  Dr. Loden was selected for the Springfield Business Journal’s 2021 Men of the Year. Dr. Loden was named the 2015 Mississippi State Superintendent of the Year.  He 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 was actively involved in his community in Mississippi 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 25 years and have two sons, Trey (Nixa High School graduate and senior at Mississippi State majoring in education) and Arthur (junior high student).

    “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 the 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). 

    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