Dr. Gearl Loden
Dr. Gearl Loden is in his fourth 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
- U.S. News and World Report named Nixa High School in 2020 as being in the top 10% of the best high schools in the nation
- MSHSAA 5-Star Leadership School 5 years running
- 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
- Implemented a Cox Health partnership for Virtual Clinics to serve all faculty/staff and their school-age children, as well as all Nixa students
- 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
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 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 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 22 years and have two sons, Trey (Nixa High School student) and Arthur (elementary 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 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