Purdy announces new superintendent

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Travis Graham takes the helm July 1

Purdy has a new superintendent taking the helm July 1 following the resignation of Mindi Gates, who will be returning to her hometown school in Cassville next year.

Purdy School Board of Education President Todd Schallert introduced Travis Graham as the district’s 2021-2022 Superintendent at a special staff meeting on March 22.

“We are so happy to welcome Dr. Graham and his family, not only to the school, but to the community,” Schallert said. “Dr. Graham brings a wealth of diverse educational experience to the position. That, coupled with his servant’s heart and passion for educating all students, makes him a perfect fit. On behalf of the Purdy R-II School District Board of Education, welcome to the nest, Dr. Graham.”

Graham currently serves the Harrison (Ark.) School District as its director of operations, a position he has held for two years.

“Dr. Travis Graham is a lifelong educator who has cultivated a variety of experiences in public education,” said Stewart Pratt, Harrison Public Schools superintendent. “He is hardworking, a man of character and is a contributor to our district’s success. I am personally proud of Dr. Graham and his continuing succession of professional accomplishments.”

Susan Gilley, executive director of Federal Programs and Instructional Technology at Harrison Schools said Graham is, hard-working, diligent, responsible, thoughtful and insightful.

“He has a magical way of being everywhere he is needed at just the right moment,” she said.

Graham is a 1999 graduate of North Thurston High School in Olympia, Wash. He earned his Bachelor of Science in K-12 Education from College of the Ozarks in 2004. He completed his Masters in Educational Administration in 2011 at Missouri State University. He received his Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2015. 

Before his tenure at Harrison, Graham served the Hollister school district. He was first employed as assistant elementary and middle school principal before moving to the assistant high school principalship.

Graham completed his tenure at Hollister as high school principal, a position he held for five years.

Graham also has a background in secondary vocal music instruction, serving as vocal music director at both Greenwood Laboratory School and Logan-Rogersville High School.

In all, Graham brings 17 total years of educational experience.

“I believe the Purdy R-II School District can be a nationally recognized district that excels in academic achievement and quality extracurriculars, ensuring that all students encounter rigorous and relevant instruction and activities that prepare them for college, career and life,” Graham said.

Graham and his wife, Jamie, are the parents of two children, Emma, a third grader and Rowan, a kindergartner.

Jamie currently serves the Hollister school district as a first-grade teacher.

“We are excited about relocating to Purdy and becoming involved in a community that values relationships and learning,” Graham said.

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