Southwest superintendent Walker resigns, principal Watson to replace him
November 18, 2015
After seven years with the Southwest District, superintendent Dr. Bob Walker announced at the November school board meeting is stepping down from his position and current high school principal Tosha Watson will be taking his place as of July 1, 2016.
Walker said the decision to leave was just feeling that it was time. He said, “My stepping down as superintendent is simply a matter of my feeling that it is time. I think one of the responsibilities of a superintendent is to be able to look down the road and make decisions that are in the best interest of a district’s future, and that includes examining your own situation. And having someone with the skill set of Mrs. Watson available really makes my decision much easier, because I know how much she cares about Southwest.” He said he is unsure if he will be pursuing employment elsewhere.
Watson, a 1990 Southwest High School graduate, has been employed with the district as the high school principal for five years. She said, “It has been my professional goal to be a superintendent since I finished by specialist of education degree. I am looking forward to continuing with the district initiatives with Mr. Walker and the board of education have set plus guiding the district toward new and exciting endeavors.”
Watson said that she plans to continue taking the school in the same direction laid out by the board and Walker. However, she said leaving the high school will be a change.
“I will miss most about leading the high school principal position is the staff and the students. We have a strong, caring environment. I have always said that the best job in the district is being the high school principal. I will miss this honor tremendously, but look forward to the new challenges of being the superintendent and giving someone else the privilege of working with such great students and staff at the high school, “ Watson said.
She added, “I realy enjoy the administrative team at Souwehst. We have continuity between the buildings and the same goals for the students. I am proud of academic improves that have been made at the high school and excited to work with all the staff across the district.”
When asked what Walker was most proud of in his time at the school, he said, “There is no one thing that I’m most proud of, but rather our overall condition. In the time I’ve been here, I’ve witnessed an improvement in our instruction, our facilities and our overall staff. I believe Southwest is at a good place and that’s a credit to our kids, teachers and support folks, our administrators and school board. It’s been very fulfilling observing our progress.”
Walker continued, “Although a superintendent is typically somewhat removed form the students, kids are what make education worthwhile. They really provide the purpose for being in this business. I will miss that aspect for sure. And I’ll definitely miss our staff members, especially those that I have worked most closely with. We really have some quality people at Southwest.”
Walker came to Southwest after 30 years in Oklahoma schools. He and his wife, Sally, have been married for 37 years. Sally currently works as a reading specialist at Southwest and will continue in that position. They have three children who live in the Dallas, Texas, area with their two grandchildren.
Watson is the daughter of two Southwest educators, Darrel and Sandra Tilford. Watson’s husband, Brian, works at the school as a paraprofessional, and her son, Hayden Fox, is a senior at Southwest this year. Watson has worked for Seneca, Webb City, Galena, Kan., and East Newton. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Education from Missouri Southern State University in 1994, a Master of Education from William Woods University in 2003 and a specialist of education in district administration in William Woods University in 2005.