Monday, June 01, 2015
C. J. Huff recommendation letter: Joplin is "unengaged, apathetic community"
And not just any letter of recommendation, but one that was provided by Huff and once again praises his "heroism' following the May 22, 2011, Joplin Tornado and refers to Joplin as an "unengaged, apathetic community."
"The district will provide to Superintendent, within seven days after the revocation period in paragraph 13 has passed, a letter of recommendation signed by the school board president in the form set out as Exhibit B." (The letter is shown in the photo accompanying this post and can be enlarged by clicking on it.)
The letter reads as follows:
To whom it may concern,
I am honored to have this opportunity to write this letter of recommendation on behalf of the Joplin Schools Board of Education for Dr. C. J. Huff. I have known Dr. Huff since his arrival in Joplin in July of 2008.
When Dr. Huff was hired as the superintendent of schools by the Board of Education, he was hired tackle several challenges the District had yet to overcome. The primary issues included an unacceptable graduation rate that hovered between 72 and 75 percent and an unengaged, apathetic community that was not intimately involved in the life of our schools. Within a few short years, Dr. Huff successfully tackled both challenges through the development of a comprehensive dropout prevention program resulting in graduates rates exceeding 86 percent, as well as a nationally recognized community engagement framework known as Bright Futures that has been replicated by 35 communities in seven states across the country.
Unfortunately on May 22, 2011, Dr. Huff was suddenly thrust into the national spotlight as a part of the recovery effort following the most costly tornado in our nation's history. On that day, Joplin Schools lost seven students, one staff member, and six school buildings. Four other school buildings sustained damage. Over the course of 87 days, Dr. Huff led his team and the community through an amazing recovery effort resulting in the scheduled opening of school on August 17, 2011.
Through that incredibly challenging time, his focus on what was best for our children, our families, our teachers, and our community did not waiver (sic). His commitment to the rebuilding effort and the personal sacrifices he has made to see our school community through this unimaginable disaster has resulted in state of the art school facilities for our children, but more importantly, 21st Century academic programming that has been recognized as a model of innovation for the state and national level, as well.
It is without hesitation Joplin Schools Board of Education recommends Dr. C. J. Huff for a position in your organization. He has consistently demonstrated he is a capable leader and a man of commitment, character, and integrity.