Monett Superintendent Russ Moreland, a fixture in southwest Missouri school districts, died unexpectedly Tuesday. He was 50.
The death was confirmed by the Monett district — where Moreland had worked for much of his career — and the Barry County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating. No details regarding the death were immediately available.
Moreland, 50, started his teaching career in Monett. He returned to Barry County in 2011 as director of the Scott Regional Technology Center.
In mid-2018, he returned for a third time as superintendent. He had been the unanimous choice — beating out more than 20 applicants — to succeed Brad Hanson, who resigned to take a job in his Kansas hometown.
“It is a great district to work for,” Moreland told the News-Leader after taking the job. “They’re respected in the community and in the area.”
Darren Bass, who was president of the Monett school board at the time of the hiring, said Moreland’s familiarity and track record were selling points. “We knew what we were getting.”
Moreland had been superintendent in Pierce City, just five miles from Monett. He lived between the two cities.
During his time at the helm, Pierce City voters approved a $2.4 million bond issue, even though passing a bond issue historically had been difficult in the district.
Moreland, a 1988 graduate of Crane High School, taught in Monett and Marionville and was a high school principal in Pierce City.
He served as president of the Southwest Missouri Association of School Administrators for the 2018-19 year.
Moreland and his wife, Kellie, have two children, Mason and McKenzie.
Claudette Riley is the education reporter for the News-Leader. Email news tips to email@example.com.