The Purdy R-2 School District will be seeking a new superintendent in the coming months following the announcement of Jerry Lingo's retirement as superintendent at Monday's night board meeting.
Lingo has served as superintendent since taking the post in 2004. Prior to that, he served for two years as elementary principal.
"The last 10 years working in Purdy have been both gratifying and rewarding to me, but with a total of 38 years in education, I feel it is time to retire in order to give my wife, Janet, and me more opportunities to follow the careers of our two sons, their spouses and our three grandkids that are simply the twinkle in our eyes," Lingo said in his letter.
"To the Board of Education, both past and present members, I want to sincerely thank you for taking a chance on the hiring of an individual with no previous experience as superintendent and only two years of experience in the district as your superintendent of schools eight years ago," Lingo said. "Thank you for your support, your help and your tireless work on behalf of the students of this district. I cannot begin to tell you how much your friendship has meant to me and Janet the past few years."
Lingo completed 26 years of service in the United States military in 1996. He served on active duty in 1969 and from 1985 to 1989. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1975 to 1996.
With a bachelor of arts in education degree from Central State College in Edmond, Okla., in 1969, Lingo completed a masters of education in administration degree in 1975 from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La. He completed studies for principal's certificates in both Oklahoma and Missouri. He completed his superintendent certification in Oklahoma in 2000 and in Missouri in 2008.
As an educator, Lingo worked as a classroom teacher and coach at Luther High School in Luther, Okla., becoming high school principal in 1978. He served as elementary principal, assistant principal and high school principal in Vinita, Okla., before coming to Purdy.
"To the faculty and support staff of Purdy R-2, there is no way I can thank you enough for your strength, dedication and professionalism while always striving to help the young people of this school and community be the very best they can be," Lingo wrote in his letter to the school board. "The fact that we are living and working in a time of economic stress that precluded me from raising your salaries closer to what you have earned and deserved during my tenure will always be something that I wish could have been able to do differently. The students and community of Purdy are lucky to have you working in their behalf."
The board voted to accept Lingo's retirement while voicing their wish that he could stay. Board President Randy Henderson said Lingo's actions have left the district in positive financial condition and that serving with him had been a pleasure.
Board members discussed options for finding a successor. It was not immediately decided on whether to advertise for a superintendent or seek the services of the Missouri School Boards Association.
Lingo's retirement becomes effective on June 30, 2012. Lingo plans to retire to the home he and his wife have had for the past 14 years on Grand Lake, north of Langley, Okla. The Lingos' son, Jason, and his wife, Mindy, both work for the Southmoore High School in Moore, Okla. His son, James, also works at Southmoore High and James' wife, Annie, is a teacher at Fairview Elementary School in Fairview, Okla.