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Cassville R-IV School District



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Cassville R-IV Administrators Invited to Lead Disaster Mentoring Seminar

In photo, left to right: Dr. Patrick Sweeney, Dr. Pam Hedgpeth, Dr. Janet Robinson, Dr. Janet Dunlop, Reid, Kim Vann, and Asbill.

Leading school districts under normal circumstances can be a challenge. Leading school districts during response and recovery efforts can be overwhelming. After the flooding of 2015 when the basement of Cassville Intermediate was flooded and severely damaged, administration at Cassville R-IV were tasked with leading our local district though response and recovery efforts along with mitigation and repairs.


Because of the expertise gained during this process, Cassville R-IV Superintendent Dr. Richard Asbill and Director of Operations, Dusty Reid, were invited to serve as mentors in the Hurricane Harvey Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Seminar at the Education Service Center in Corpus Christy, Texas.


“The superintendents that came in had vast disaster experience that included a school shooting, fires, floods, suicide and tornados.  They shared their experiences and lessons learned that included great information on communications after the event,” said Candace Stoltz, Director, Emergency Management Texas Education Agency.


Along with four other mentors from across the United States, Asbill and Reid shared disaster-related experiences from a school leader’s perspective with participants.


Mentors discussed successful communication tactics in the event of a disaster, shared lessons learned and best practices when dealing with disasters and shared ideas pertinent for both internal and external stakeholders.


“It (the seminar) is a safe space for leaders to hear from other leaders on the important matters of disaster planning and recovery, whether it be natural (floods, fires, etc) or man-made (suicide, school shootings, etc).  The layout of the day and the practical nature of the discussion, panels, and interaction among participants, makes for a rich learning environment,” said Kelly Kravitz, Director Highly Mobile and At-Risk Student Programs, Division of Special Populations at the Office of Academics Texas Education Agency.


The mentors, including Asbill and Reid, will continue to serve as a resource for school leaders across the country that are engaged in disaster recovery operations.