Lori VanLeer (use)

The Washington School Board has approved a one-year contract extension for Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer.

The extension keeps a three-year contract intact for VanLeer, who was named superintendent in January 2009. Her new agreement runs through June 30, 2021.

The board voted in closed session Wednesday night on the contract. The decision was unanimous with board member Dan Contarini absent.

Board President Kevin Blackburn told The Missourian that VanLeer is an exemplary leader who works tirelessly to provide the best learning environment for students and staff.

“Dr. VanLeer does an awesome job and I honestly don’t know how she does it all,” Blackburn said. “She is never satisfied with status quo and always looking for ways to improve with innovative programs to keep students interested and wanting to come to school to learn. She is a real leader.”

VanLeer’s salary will be determined after the salary schedule for all certified staff is approved this spring. Her current salary is $170,220.88.

VanLeer told The Missourian it’s a pleasure to lead in the capacity of superintendent.

“I continue to appreciate our work here,” she said. “Our Board is high-functioning and engaged, and our students and  staff work hard. I am grateful for that.”

VanLeer said she’s pleased about her employment extending through at the very least 2021.

“I look forward to leading the district toward even better things in the future,” she said.

Blackburn said the board is completing its superintendent assessment, a new evaluation tool, and he will go over the report with VanLeer next month.

Superintendent Since 2009

VanLeer joined the Washington School District in July 2003. She took over as superintendent in January 2009.

She is the first full-time female superintendent in the district’s history and believed to be only the sixth since the district became larger through consolidation.

VanLeer served as assistant principal at Washington High School from 2002 to 2006. She then served as assistant superintendent of human resources from 2006 to 2009.

Before coming to Washington, she taught health at Union Middle School for four years and coached volleyball at East Central College. Her first seven years in education were at Pacific High School as a P.E./health teacher and department chair. She also ran the volleyball program at Pacific.

She holds a doctorate of education leadership from Maryville University, earned her secondary principal certificate and Master of Science degree in education from Southwest Baptist University and a bachelor’s degree in education from Southwest Missouri State University.

VanLeer resides in the Beaufort area with her husband John, a teacher and coach at Pacific High School. They have two sons.