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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Don Tuck brings wide-ranging experience to MHS position

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Don Tuck, shown above, has begun his duties as the new assistant principal at Monett High School. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
Don Tuck, the new assistant principal at Monett High School, is already on the job. Tuck, who lives in Willard and plans to commute, brings a wide range of experience to the Monett R-1 School District.

"I expect to do whatever I can to help our staff provide the best possible learning environment to lead to student success," Tuck said. "I've got a pretty well-rounded educational background."

Tuck is a native of Lamar. He completed his bachelor of science degree from Missouri State University in 1981 with a specialty in physical education and health. Tuck is presently close to completing his master's degree in education administration with a focus on superintendent skills.

Jasper was the first district where Tuck worked. After six years he moved to the Lamar district, spent 10 years in the classroom as a middle school science teacher and six as a middle school principal, four of which he also wore the additional hats of A+ coordinator and one year as assistant elementary principal.

Tuck left Lamar in 2004 and went to the Willard School District as high school principal. After three years, Tuck formally retired from education. However, the Lamar district brought him back under the critical shortage exemption to a two-year stint as principal for third through fifth grades. Tuck retired again, but ended up staying another year in Willard as a speech implementer. Then he took a part-time job at Lowe's in Springfield.

"I decided my purpose was being in education, helping kids," Tuck said. "I learned of the position in Monett and pursued it. I felt fortunate the position was offered to me."

In the weeks before classes begin, Tuck has been concentrating on familiarizing himself with district policies and procedures, getting organized and meeting people so he can connect faces and names when classes begin.

"I've seen a lot of changes over 30 years," Tuck said. "I don't think you get away from the fact that we're here to serve students. That's my main job as an educator. In order to serve students, you must serve the staff and keep them prepared to serve students. The key word is 'service.'

"Students need people to care about them, direct them and encourage them," Tuck said. "I don't care how much kids change. They still need that."

Tuck and his wife, Renea, have three children, two of whom are attending Ozarks Technical College on the A+ program and one who is now at Missouri State University.

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