Thursday, June 25, 2015

Jason Cravens named acting Joplin R-8 superintendent

(From Joplin Schools)

During a closed session held immediately following its June 23 regular meeting, Joplin Schools Board of Education voted to name Joplin Schools Executive Director of Secondary Education Jason Cravens as acting superintendent for the district. Cravens will serve in this role during the month of July while a search for an interim superintendent takes place.

"We reviewed several potential candidates, and we felt Jason was a natural selection to step into Dr. Huff's position temporarily as the board works through the process of selecting an interim superintendent," said Jeff Koch, Joplin Schools Board of Education president. "Jason has served in a leadership capacity for Joplin Schools for several years and also has the necessary certification required to hold this position. We appreciate his willingness to serve and help move Joplin Schools forward during this transitional period."

Joplin Schools Board of Education will meet on Wednesday, July 8, to discuss the interim superintendent position and continue discussions regarding the distribution of salary increases for Joplin Schools' staff.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

He has the certification......that's about it.

Anonymous said...

CJ's little yes man's butt kissing has paid off, I see. This guy can't make a decision on his own in less than three weeks and usually defers decisions to Doshier or Stevens. He cannot stay a day longer than necessary. I think I will start looking seriously for another job, even if I have to leave education if this is what R8 calls a "change". He will be the perfect puppet for CJ and Banwart to keep under thumb. This cannot last.

Anonymous said...

CJ wanted everyone to know the vote for Cravens was not unanimous. Martucci was the lone dissenting vote. Is that important for CJ to put out there? There is some ulterior motive for it...

Anonymous said...

Did the Board not watch Cravens' presentation the other night? Please tell me they are just humoring him and they don't think he can really do this job. Look at the scores and teacher flight at the secondary level. He has no solutions. He carries out orders.

Anonymous said...

Guys this looks like it is for ONE month. What type of "change" can anybody do in a month?

Anonymous said...

I just thought he was the district's weather man. I've never seen or heard of him doing anything else.

Anonymous said...

Where is the teacher union? Sure hope the teachers are not paying much in the way of dues. They are getting absolutely no representation....union should be talking about this wage increase item the school board plans...should right there in the front row every time....

Steve C. Ousley said...

I have known Jason since he was 14 . Jason is a man of good charter ,honest and has the best interest of the kids and families of the R-8 first He has the education and background needed to step up and make his own leadership known. Although he has worked under Dr Huff,that doesn't mean ,given the oppurtity, can make a positive difference in our comuninity.
Jason was my student for years, later in life my Sons principle. And a neighbor to a uncle,. He is a good man that can and will stand on his own and be a positive leader.

Anonymous said...

This is the most ridiculous thing yet!!! Never had any Experience running a building or anything else. A Huff follower- wow. Joplin needs a strong person that is capable of cleaning house and that would not be Jason Cravens. Go outside School Board. Ridiculous. Even laughable

Anonymous said...

Come on. Doctorate ? No experience running anything!!! Weak

Anonymous said...

He was your student? How did you teach anything with that hideous grammar and spelling?

Anonymous said...

Wow, I don't think any of the readers of this blog will be happy with anyone to serve as superintendent except their dear leader, Mr. Turner.

This is an acting appointment until they find a more experienced interim to fill in until a permanent replacement is found. Take a breath and calm down, people.

Give the guy a chance, he can't do that much damage in one month, even if he does ultimately prove incapable of doing the job.

Anonymous said...

Come on. Doctorate ? No experience running anything!!!

You have to admit that this would make for a great book.

Anonymous said...

I am NOT a Huff supporter on any level. But from professional experience only, I believe they made a great choice. He seems to have alot of integrity and a I think he really wants to make a difference. So far, it's the best choice they've made, IMO.

Anonymous said...

He was probably the only one with "the certifications" who would take the job. Nice guy but definitely not an independent thinker. At least he won't get in the Board's way.

Anonymous said...

Correction, Mr. Ousley...Jason Cravens could not have been your son's principal because he has never been a principal. Trust me, there is a HUGE difference between being an assistant principal and being a principal. I agree, Jason is a very nice person, but the buck has never stopped at HIS desk. I know Jason has a great reputation as a decent person, wonderful family man, etc., and rightfully so, he has earned that. But to be even an acting superintendent puts him in way over his head. Yes, he has recently obtained his superintendent's certification (although he has no doctorate degree), but being certified and being qualified are two very, very different things...every teacher and administrator in the district can tell you that. His reputation within our school community is much different than the one he enjoys outside the walls of Joplin Schools. Being a nice guy just isn't good enough...teachers and students need and deserve a whole lot more.

Anonymous said...

17 years in education (entire career). Around 13 years in administrative positions (asst. principle and higher). Around 8 years at second highest level under Superintendent/Asst superintendent. He is as well respected in the community as one can get. In my opinion, he's the perfect choice to heal this ailing district.

Those touting he has 'no experience' are just being intellectually dishonest and lack any credibility. It's fine if you don't like him, just be honest in your assessment.

Some people are looking for some kind of 'savior' by going outside the district. The problem is, no one knows the character of the 'outsider' who is coming in. Plus, he/she knows nothing about this district and has no established relationships or respect here. It's a huge gamble that could fracture the district even more if it goes wrong.

Cravens has the proven character, relationships, and experience. He also knows the district and inner workings well...a huge learning curve for any newbie. I would make him interim superintendent for a trial period of a year. I would move someone up into his old position, then eliminate that person's old position and use the salary from that defunct position to spread out in teacher raises.

Anonymous said...

This is a real disappointment. Cravens, several years ago, was made vice principal over special education children at the high school. He had never had a special education student in his classroom, and had no clue about their problems or behavior patterns, or how to interact with them. He was instrumental in forcing at least one teacher to resign over a minor problem, and to do that, misrepresented facts. Whether he was following someone's orders, I do not know, but I lost all respect for him over the incident, which messed up a teacher's career. Not to the extent the district messed up Randy's career, but damage was done. I doubt anything has changed as he has moved up the ladder. He was probably a pawn in someone's chess game then, and I'm sure he still is. So, he has certification. Big deal. He may be a good neighbor, and he might have been a good English teacher. He might have started out with his heart in the right place. But the politics of moving up the ladder, in my opinion, corrupted the basic good. If there is any chance of anyone outside this district who is qualified by proven results, and willing to take on this mess, I hope the board will have the intestinal fortitude to do the right thing and hire him/her. Hopefully, it will be someone who has not had anything to do with Joplin education or the City of Joplin to fill this post and the post of permanent superintendent.

Kenen Martinez said...

Someone has to be acting superintendent, and absent forming a long protracted search for an acting superintendent which would defeat the purpose of the term acting or temporary, it does need to be at least for the time being, some senior staff member, which by definition is a Huffite. Change will come but it's not a revolution as it is a work in progress.

Some huffites can be reformed I'm sure, the toady careerists that are competent if lacking backbone, others, will join Huff in bright futures or other slush fund opportunities.

The sky isn't falling yet, let the new acting Super enjoy his new found power for thirty days

Anonymous said...

2:03 pm
You are living in some sort of fantasy land. In who's world has Jason Cravens been at the second highest level under the super/asst super for 8 years? It certainly isn't this one! Or do you just suck at math? That would surely make sense if you attended Joplin High School. He was the Senior principal at Joplin High School in 2009-10, asst under Dr. Sachetta. Why are you making up facts that are easily verified?

Annoyed said...

Jason Cravens is the one of the only reasons that myself, and many others graduated from high school. Say what you will regarding his Huff loyalty, but the man has always been in it for the students.

Anonymous said...

Dear 2:03,
You don't sound like someone who is a Joplin Schools employee, because let me tell you, many of us who ARE have very little respect for Mr. Cravens...aka Meteorologist Jason Cravens. Those of us on the inside agree that he's a nice guy, but Cravens has NOT earned the respect you seem to think he has. Huff put him into an inflated position at admin because Jason is a yes man and we all know it. To entertain the thought of him being our interim super, much less our next permanent superintendent, while it may not be criminal, is certainly very scary. I have faith that our new board will choose our interim much more wisely.

Anonymous said...

Hey, it was his oppurtity to write a comment.

Anonymous said...

Great idea! Randy....throw your hat in the ring. If nothing else, it will be fun to read the comments.

Anonymous said...

Bottom line people...listen up...Cravens was chosen as an acting supt for an interim supt not because anyone in their right mind thinks for a nano-second that he is capable of being a good leader or the savior of Joplin Schools, but because he has the certificate and the time. What else does he do all day? We know he forwards weather reports, henceforth his nickname of "Meterologist Jason Cravens" and, from what I hear from people working at admin, he spends a good portion of his day trolling for donuts and other free snacks around the building.

It makes much more sense to throw Cravens in there temporarily rather than take the other, more qualified, people in the district (Dr. Sachetta, Dr. Gilbreth, Dr. Eggleston) away from their buildings...they are too busy working every day and EARNING the respect of their school community.


Anonymous said...

I'll take Cravens. I've been in his classroom, as well as assigned to him when he was Vice Principle. He always did his best to meet all of us on our level as students. What's more, it was always clear by his actions that his biggest priority was our (the students') well-being. He demonstrated integrity and compassion to us, and expected the same in return. I know his heart is in the right place. To me, the only question is whether he has the wisdom and the boldness to do the job right.

I think that even if he doesn't have the boldness to do what needs to be done now, he'll rise to the occasion quickly.

That leaves wisdom. He was a young man when I knew him, so my only remaining question is whether wisdom has settled into his head. I both hope and suspect that it has, and I will be praying for him, and for the school district. This is the time to heal, so I'll pray for that too.

Anonymous said...

People who say that Cravens is a 'Yes' man for Huff don't seem to understand that Huff was his boss...he had to do the work as instructed by Huff. What did you expect? You most certainly don't want someone in his position to be rebellious, do you? It is pure foolishness to think that he just agreed with everything that Huff wanted to do.

A lot of wasted posting going on here. We need some objective people here, not just Huff haters who want to trash everyone who worked under him as well whether it's warranted or not. Of course Cravens will be different being that he gets to make the decisions now.

Anonymous said...

I've read several comments posted above by those who claim to know Jason Cravens. While you may know him in a social setting or you are the parent of a child, you do not know him as an employer. Teachers do not want Jason Cravens as Superintendent, for 3 days or 30 days. At one time, Mr. Cravens may have been a man of integrity, he has drank too much"kool-aid" to retain much of it. I agree that at one time he was a nice man, had the kid's interest at heart, and cared about teachers, however as the thirst for power drew him to the kool-aid cooler down the hall, he threw aside the things that weighed him down on his climb. Things like integrity, honesty, genuine concern for students and teachers, and original thoughts. As he worked beside Huff, he ignored the repeated pleas of teachers in the district to investigate problems. He also turned a deaf ear to anyone that dared to question "the great Dr. Huff". He did everything Huff told him to do including being a party to falsifying employee records, just to keep those employees quiet so that he could continue earning an inflated income at the expense of the Joplin tax payers. So, while you may see Mr. Cravens in public or in church, you are seeing what he wants you to see. You are not seeing what hundreds of underpaid and unappreciated teachers are seeing.

Anonymous said...

Jason Cravens is a great man! I am glad to see him appointed into this position, even if it is for just a sort term. He was the driving force behind myself and many others in my class to graduating. He was patient, loyal, not always understanding but still worked for the benefit of the students. The only times he wasn't understanding was when we made our own beds and needed some tough love. Negative comments and lack of trust in the board doesn't help to promote "change". Have some patience yourselves and let the man attempt to succeed. Calling him a puppet of CJ's and incapable of doing the job will not help the situation. I have a wife who teaches in R8 and children who attend. All of my family and myself have confidence in him doing positive things for the district.

Anonymous said...

I am baffled by the negative comments towards Jason Cravens. He is a very humble, down to earth guy who cares about others, especially the students of Joplin Schools. I've never had any negative encounters with Jason, and he has always been a very respectable person towards everyone I saw him encounter. Give the man a chance, he hasn't even jumped in to prove anything and already you guys are complaining about him.

Anonymous said...

Cravens already has a contract and is being paid. That qualifies him to be the acting super for the short amount of time. No extra money and how much is there for him to do right now?

Cravens was a good assistant principal and truly cared about the kids. His current position has not earned him any respect from teachers or parents. He has acted as and is seen as a Huff puppet.

Maybe if there weren't so many of those directors, he would have something to do besides send out weather reports and could show he can do something. There is still the problem of drinking the koolaid. That should disqualify him for the interim and permanent position.

I hope people can put up with this short amount of time with him and that the board will find an excellent interim that will be able to look through all the mess and begin straightening it all out.

And Dr. Huff--give it up. You quit so go away and quit stirring up trouble (example: reporting on the vote from the closed session). You are only making yourself look worse. Hard to believe, huh?

Anonymous said...

As a Joplin teacher, I like Cravens and believe that he will do a great job. I really wish some of you would refrain from posting your negative comments as if you speak for all Joplin employees--our district has been doing amazing things this past year!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Cravens is REALLY sexy!!! Quit hating on him.

Anonymous said...

The most "amazing" thing we've done this year is get rid of CJ Huff, Anne Sharp, Mikey Landis, and Randy Steele! Now that's reason for our entire community to celebrate!!!

Anonymous said...

Can we all please spell principal CORRECTLY!!! Sorry, just a pet peeve!

Anonymous said...

8:48, List, please.

Anonymous said...

Go Team!

Anonymous said...

Yeah baby.

Anonymous said...

Helpful hint...

Your principal is your PAL.

Anonymous said...

Only if you will use spaces correctly.....

Anonymous said...

I, for one, would like to see Dr Sachetta in the running for interim. I think he would be a good choice.

Anonymous said...

Who would Randy put in as acting Supt for 30 days?

Anonymous said...

5:47

It is called right (margin) justified.
G e t us ed t o i t. ( :

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the district have an assistant superintendent that could take over? And if not, why?