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January 22, 2015 Vol. 1 Issue 19 Snodgrass to Take Helm Buckner Clarion PRSRT STD ECRWSS U.S. POSTAGE PAID EDDM RETAIL Local Postal Customer The Dr. Jason Snodgrass has been the Fort Osage High School principal for six years and is the incoming superintendent. By Morgan Nail The Buckner Clarion recently sat down with current Fort Osage High School principal and incoming superintendent, Dr. Jason Snodgrass, to talk about his plans for the school district. Snodgrass, who has served as the Fort Osage High School principal for the past six years, began his career in Brookfield, Missouri, as a social studies teacher and assistant football and basketball coach. After spending five years working for the Brookfield R-III School District, Snodgrass moved on to the Marceline R-V School District, where he served as the secondary principal for one year. Revisiting his hometown, Snodgrass acquired a job as principal for the Polo R-VII School District for six years, before settling in the Fort Osage School District. Fort Osage has been Snodgrass' home since the fall of 2009. Growing up, Snodgrass had a positive experience in school, both in the classroom and athletically. Having teachers and coaches who were positive influences inspired Snodgrass to pursue his interests in education. "I felt like it was a path that I'd really enjoy and allow me to be able to make a difference in students' lives," he said. Snodgrass added that educating students comes with many rewards, like "being able to see and make a difference in a student's future," motivators that he said drives him to strive for success. Being able to help students see their potential and work toward that, inspiring and motivating them along the way, is one of the biggest perks of his job, Snodgrass explained. He goes on to say how fortunate it has been for him to help the Fort Osage School District increase their graduation rate from 85.9 percent to 98.4 percent, and better their college placement rate, among other achievements. "It's just really exciting to see progress for students in the classroom and help them achieve their goals," he said. However, Dr. Snodgrass admits there is still room for improvement within the edu- cational system, citing funding as one of the biggest issues. "One of the challenges we have in education, especially in recent years, is our school funding and finances," he said. "In previous years, the Fort Osage School District, the Board of Education and all superintendents have done a good job managing our budget and our finances." Funding aside, it can be challenging to navigate the trials that many children often face in their home life, while still effectively helping them to learn and grow in an academic setting. Snodgrass stresses that he has much confidence in the school district's team approach to making sure that all students receive a positive and inspirational school experience. "It has to be a partnership with the home and the school district," he said. He also stresses how vital it is to get everyone involved to help a struggling student achieve. Snodgrass points out that parents, teachers, administrators, coaches and other influential members of the community are responsible for helping struggling students achieve success. "Progress is made whenever students are engaged in the classroom," he said. Snodgrass also points out that public support for the school district contributes to student success. "An abundant amount of support comes from effective communication and making sure parents and patrons are well- informed about what's occurring in the school district." He also adds that building trust is a large component of gaining support for the schools. "All members of the district must understand that we are here providing a solid education for students," he said. "Parents and patrons are such a vital part of this school district, so it's important that Fort Osage faculty and staff take an active part in making effective decisions, and informing parents about the vision for the school district." Transitioning into a new leadership position, Snodgrass also knows that it's crucial to find the right balance between maintaining specified standards for education and maximizing academic efficiency. "I think you have to stay apprised of what's current in education and what the standards are, making sure there is balance," he said. This balance involves communication with staff and ongoing professional development for the teachers in the classroom. With the students' future in mind, Snodgrass is confident he will not be alone in driving the current and future programs within the school district. "It's my job to communicate, along with other central office staff and willing administrators and teachers, to make sure we have effective goals in place for our school district," he said. The school district's Comprehensive School Improvement Plan helps communicate what the district's goals are and how each administrator will work toward them. "The main objective is to see everybody working together to achieve goals," he said.

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