Retirement Resolution

Legislators honor Priest with joint resolution
Posted on 04/02/2019
Jeff Shawan and Rod Priest

The Missouri Senate and House of Representatives issued Poplar Bluff Assistant Superintendent of Business Rod Priest courtesy retirement resolutions during the special recognition portion of the school board meeting on Thursday, March 21, in the Administrative Building. 

Priest is set to retire in June upon serving 26 years in public education. The lifelong educator will be succeeded by Assistant Superintendent of Personnel, Dr. Amy Jackson.

“A proud graduate of the Poplar Bluff High School Class of 1979, Rodrick Priest leaves his alma mater better than when he came for generations well into the future,” stated the House resolution delivered by Rep. Jeff Shawan of District 153. 

Shawan, who represents parts of Butler County, was accompanied by Rep. Hardy Billington of District 152, which covers the majority of Poplar Bluff. Billington served two terms on the R-I Board of Education, and is credited for approving the decision to hire Priest in 2010 as part of past superintendent Chris Hon’s cabinet. 

Prior to returning to his hometown, Priest served as superintendent of Thayer, before which he was principal and an elementary teacher at other smaller schools across the region. 

“Under Rodrick Priest’s management, the Poplar Bluff R-I School District enjoyed the most ambitious building and construction plan in district history, while maintaining safe and thoughtful control over the district’s budget,” read the Senate resolution submitted by Sen. Doug Libla of District 25, whose constituency includes Butler County. 

Libla was referring to the 2014 levy measure that added over 200,000 square feet of classroom space across campus, completed $2 million below budget under Priest’s conservative controls in 2016. The senator publicly endorsed the plan at the time. Shawan came out in support of the buildings plan as well, most notably leading the door-to-door campaign effort. 

Besides overseeing the historic expansion and renovation projects, Priest was commended by the legislators for increasing base salaries on an average of 2.19 percent over the past seven years in order to help improve teacher recruitment and retention, plus investing in student technology through the one-to-one laptop initiative.

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Cutline: State Rep. Jeff Shawan (left) reads a retirement resolution from the Missouri House to outgoing Assistant Superintendent of Business Rod Priest.

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