Cassville R-IV School Board names new superintendent

Thursday, October 22, 2009
Asbill to take the lead Democrat Photo On Oct. 15, the Cassville R-IV School Board announced that Richard Asbill, district special services director, has been hired as superintendent for the 2010-11 school year. Current Superintendent Jim Orrell announced his retirement from the district in August. Pictured above, from left, are: Asbill and Orrell.

After serving the Cassville School District for around a dozen years and accumulating over 10 years of administrative experience, Richard Asbill, Cassville special services director, will begin serving as the R-IV School District's superintendent during the 2010-11 school year.

"I hope that I have been doing my fair share of work with the teachers and students to make Cassville the best school it can be," said Asbill. "It is important for the district to have stability in the success that it has already had. I am proud to have the opportunity to be part of that."

After graduating from Pierce City High School in 1990, Asbill completed a general agriculture studies associates degree at Crowder College in Neosho and then received his bachelor's degree in agriculture education at Missouri State University in Springfield.

In 1994, Asbill began serving as an agriculture teacher at Cassville High School. While teaching, he completed a master's degree in administration at Missouri State University in 1998.

"During my last year teaching I received two opportunities," said Asbill. "I had written a few grants for the agriculture department, and High School Principal Ron Richardson came to me and asked me if I would like to work on an at-risk program.

"Then, one of my old college professors called and said that he was going on sabbatical and asked if I would be interested in a graduate assistantship and teaching a few of his classes at Missouri State University," said Asbill.

By taking advantage of both opportunities, Asbill was able to help the Cassville School District establish its first alternative school while teaching agriculture education at the college level and working to obtain a specialist's degree in administration.

Around two years later, Richardson announced his retirement from the district, and Joe Cavness moved in the high school principal position.

"I received the opportunity to work with Joe as his assistant for one year," said Asbill. "Then Mr. Orrell moved into the superintendent's position, and I was able to move into the middle school principal position."

After serving as middle school principal for a year, Asbill left the Cassville School District to serve as superintendent at Southwest R-V School District. He held that position for four years and returned to Cassville as the special services director in 2006.

"I hope that I can bring what I have learned working directly with teachers, the perspective of what they would like and what they feel needs to be focused on, to this position," said Asbill. "I also hope that I bring a sense of vision to build on what has been started. Mr. Orrell has done a fabulous job of rooting the district in good sound practices and fiscal responsibility.

"I also want to be a servant leader," said Asbill. "I believe the key to realizing that is to be a component of the whole process and to be willing to serve as much as lead."

As Asbill steps into the superintendent's position next year, he hopes to help the district continue to build quality relationships with the community and work to educate students for the future.

"Cassville will have to look at the things that keep it ultimately intertwined with the progress of the community and how the school will play a role in the future of the community," said Asbill. "We also have to fully acknowledge that we are preparing the kids in kindergarten and first grade for careers that have not even been invented yet.

"Technology is changing so much," said Asbill. "We need to look at how we can prepare our students to be competitive in the future. Even the jobs in Cassville will be different."

Asbill will depend on the dedicated Cassville staff to help him accomplish his goals for the district.

"It has been a lot of fun working with the teachers in the various grade levels, preschool through 12th grade, core and non-core," said Asbill. "They all really focus on trying to make Cassville a better school for students.

"These teachers are responsible, dedicated and they love their job," said Asbill. "They are an intricate part of the community and preparing students to be successful."

Asbill said he is humbled by the opportunity to lead such a qualified, dedicated staff of professional educators.

"This is a big opportunity and a huge responsibility," said Asbill. "I don't enter into it lightly. I want the teachers, students, parents and patrons to know that I take this responsibility very seriously, and I will work hard every day to support the teachers and students."

Asbill lives in Cassville with his wife, Kari, and 4-year-old son, Sawyer.

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