PITTSBURG — Teachers, parents and business owners had an opportunity to learn about one of the Pittsburg USD 250 superintendent candidates, Dr. Brad Hanson, on Wednesday.
At 4 p.m. Thursday at the Staff Development Center next to Pittsburg Community Middle School, the second candidate will be in town to speak to the community.
Hanson currently serves as superintendent of schools for the Monett, Missouri, school district, a position he’s held for six years.
Hanson said, from his experience there are two things which guide him as a leader.
These are “students first” and “learn and inspire daily.”
“This has been the framework of every decision I have made as a leader,” he said.
After his brief introduction, community members asked Hanson about various things he supports in his current district.
One asked about the collaboration between schools and businesses.
He said in Monett, through the “CAPS Program,” for half a day students often “go to school in industry,” where they receive hands-on training in various fields a couple times a week.
This is something Hanson said he encourages other school districts to do. This includes the ongoing collaboration between Pittsburg State University and the school district, in fact, this is one of the things which attracted him to return to the school district as an administrator — Hanson graduated from PHS in 1981 he said.
Mental health, he said, is a rising concern for all districts and is something Monett administrators talk about at each meeting and he plans to continue the discussion in Pittsburg.
A community member asked how Monett handled the National Student Walkout.
Hanson said about a quarter of the high school student body participated and they gathered in the gym where they prayed and talked to each other.
Hansen was also asked about his support for extracurricular activities.
“When students get in these types of programs they will graduate,” he replied. “We need to try to be recruiting and getting kids in … and taking a look at the numbers.”
Communication with parents was a topic of discussion. Hansen said in an event there is a threat there is a school-wide reach system which lets parents know about the situation. He said in Monett there is also someone assigned to share what is going on in the district through social media.
A student asked about Hansen’s thoughts on AP classes in high school. He said the classes are challenging and professional development of teachers who are instructing those courses would be helpful for the students success.
Another community member asked Hansen about his thoughts on the Kansas Can School Redesign.
Hansen said he was “very excited” and if the board was interested “they have the right person,” and he understands the redesign could be a hurdle as parents might have difficulty accepting some of the changes.
Hanson is a Pittsburg native and began his career in Arkansas at the Pulaski County School District as a science teacher and coach, he has served in public education for over 33 years.
“I tell people I earned my stripes in Little Rock, Arkansas,” he said.
In Missouri, he served the Cassville School District for 16 years as a physical education teacher, coach, and a building-level administrator.
Dr. Hanson earned his Ed.D. in Educational Administration from Lindenwood University in 2014. He has also earned an Ed.S. In Educational Administration from Missouri State University in 2007, a M.S. in Physical Education from the University of Central Arkansas in 1989, and a B.S.E. in Physical Education from the University of Central Arkansas in 1986.
Dr. Hanson is an active member of the Monett Community, serving on the Cox Monett Hospital Advisory Board, the YMCA Board, the Monett Area Community Foundation Board, the Monett Kiwanis Club Board, and the Monett Economic Development Partnership Committee. He also currently serves as the Board President of the Southwest Center of Educational Excellence, an educational cooperative located in Webb City, Missouri. In addition, Dr. Hanson is an active member of the American and Missouri Associations of School Administrators and the Missouri School Administrators Political Action Committee.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.