Smith-Cotton High School Principal Steve Triplett has been named assistant superintendent of Sedalia School District 200, filling the opening created when Brad Pollitt was selected to be the district’s next superintendent.
The school board approved Triplett’s hiring during its closed session Monday night. Pollitt and Triplett both will take their new positions July 1. Pollitt said Triplett will add to an already strong team at the district’s central office.
“I believe Steve brings a wealth of knowledge,” Pollitt said. “This is a management position, and Steve makes common-sense decisions.”
Pollitt lauded Triplett’s communication skills, saying he does a good job relating to administrators and teachers.
“Steve has a skill set that fits this position,” Pollitt said.
Triplett will oversee buildings and grounds and be in charge of student support services. He is a Smith-Cotton High School graduate, and holds a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Central Missouri and an education specialist degree from William Woods University.
The move to the central office marks a big change for him.
“It is really a double-edged sword for me,” Triplett said. “I have been around kids and 100-plus staff for 20 years now. This is out of my comfort zone, it’s definitely a change of pace for me. But I am excited to have this opportunity.”
Triplett has spent his entire 20 years in education in the Sedalia 200 district, starting in 1993 as a high school physical education teacher and soccer coach. He has been assistant principal at both Sedalia Middle School and at the high school, as well as principal of the junior high; he has been principal of Smith-Cotton High School since 2011.
“The timing was right for me,” Triplett said of the new job. “I’ve spent 20 years working with children directly, leading staff, and that has been rewarding. But it was time to take on a new challenge.”
One of those challenges is dealing with school security issues.
“I am excited about getting to be more hands-on with the safety aspects, which are ever-changing in our world. I’m looking forward to being part of the decision-making in that aspect, preparing our children for real-world situations. That is pretty exciting for me,” Triplett said.
Pollitt said the search for a new high school principal has begun.
“We’ll start that search now. Our practice is to look internally, to see if there is any interest and to talk to those folks,” he said. “I believe we have some qualified internal candidates. There are a couple of people we probably will be talking with.”
Pollitt is looking forward to Triplett’s move to the administrative team, which includes Assistant Superintendent Nancy Scott; Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Carla Wheeler and Director of Special Services Chris Pyle.
“I feel very fortunate to have the individuals we have at the central office to work as a team and oversee the district,” Pollitt said. “This is a group that cares about the students and the staff, and will continue to move the district forward.”
“I appreciate the support of Mr. Pollitt and the committee that put their faith in me to take on this new position,” Triplett said. “I appreciate the Board of Education supporting Mr. Pollitt’s decision, and I look forward to serving the district in this new capacity.”