Boonville native receives top state honors
Lee's Summit — Dr. David McGehee, superintendent of the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, has been named the Missouri Superintendent of the Year by the Missouri Association of School Administrators (MASA). The award was announced on October 5 during the Missouri School Boards’ Association and MASA joint fall conference held at Tan-Tar-A Resort.
Dr. McGehee grew up in Boonville, and his mother and step-father are Opal and Gene Maier of Boonville.
As the winner, Dr. McGehee received an award acknowledging his selection, a $500 scholarship for a student in the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District and a commemorative ring. The award is sponsored by PFM Asset Management, LLC, which is the program administrator for the Missouri Securities Investment Program. As the recipient of the award, Dr. McGehee will represent Missouri in the National Superintendent of the Year program conducted by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA).
Ron Baker, Lee's Summit R-7 Board of Education president, praised Dr. McGehee for his leadership in the areas of student instruction, community involvement, addressing budget challenges, effective use of technology, communication and legislative advocacy.
"He has worked with staff members throughout the district to create and nourish educational environments where the focus is on learning and success for each child," Mr. Baker said. "Dr. McGehee has a passion for teaching and learning, for what is best for each student and for encouraging leadership in others."
Dr. McGehee has served as Lee’s Summit R-7 School District superintendent since July 2006. He previously served as superintendent of the Raymore-Peculiar School District and the Sparta School District. He has worked in education since 1987 and as a public education administrator since 1995. His education experiences also include serving as a middle-school science teacher, physical-education teacher, coach and high-school principal.
Under Dr. McGehee’s leadership, the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District continues to be well-respected within the Kansas City metropolitan area and region for the high level of achievement of its students and the progressive nature of its educational programs, according to MASA officials. The district has earned Missouri’s Distinction in Performance award all 12 years that it has been offered with a perfect score each year. Lee's Summit R-7 has made a switch from addressing the needs of all students to addressing the needs of each student.
Dr. McGehee has played a critical role in the development of the nationally recognized Missouri Innovation Campus, which operates out of Lee's Summit R-7's Summit Technology Academy. According to University of Central Missouri President Dr. Charles Ambrose, “Without Dr. McGehee’s vision and ability to form collaborative partnerships in the most critical times, the potential to deliver a program promising to lower the cost of a college degree; eliminate the skills gap of graduates; accelerate the time required to a degree; and most importantly, eliminate the use of student loan debt as a way to pay for college, would be non-existent, or at best been very limited.”
The Lee’s Summit R-7 School District is also the largest district in the nation to transition its school buses from diesel fuel to compressed natural gas. The overall savings is allowing the district to redirect funds from transportation costs to technology improvements in the classroom.
McGehee has been elected by his peers to serve on the American Association of School Administrators Governing Board. He was named New Superintendent of the Year by MASA in 2000 and received the Tech-Savvy Superintendent Award from eSchool News in 2011. The Lee's Summit leader is highly involved in the community, serving on the Chamber of Commerce Board, Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council and City of Lee’s Summit strategic planning group. He has developed a working relationship with business leaders, elected officials, city and county administrators. In addition, Dr. McGehee writes a regular superintendent’s newspaper column, writes his own blog and recently began using his own Twitter account to communicate district news. This school year, he initiated virtual back-to-school staff meetings, conducting four interactive sessions with employees over a two-day period in August.