Whitehead takes helm of MSBA

Starting Saturday, Jefferson City Board of Education member Doug Whitehead will be the new president of the Missouri School Boards’ Association. He will assume the leadership job at the MSBA’s annual Leadership Summit this weekend at Tan-Tar-A.

For the past year, he has served as the organization’s president-elect. He replaces Phil Hutchinson from Grain Valley.

Slated to serve a one-year term, Whitehead plans to address the MSBA’s full assembly with a message about his goals and aspirations for the organization on Saturday.

“A lot of it will be about our governance structure changes,” he said.

One of the main changes is reducing the MSBA’s governing body from 43 members to 25. Another upcoming modification is that 17 regions around the state will now have “regional action committees” charged with sharing the public schools’ message.

Whitehead also noted MSBA’s leaders realize that “legislative advocacy is more important than ever before.”

He’s hopeful that — instead of engaging in cantankerous, politicized debates — advocates for the public schools will be able to have a real conversation with their opponents.

“That kind of dialog is not a good example for our students to follow,” he said. “Instead what we need is smart, professional, humble, transparent legislative solutions.”

Whitehead also said he’s grateful to his colleagues on the Jefferson City Board of Education for giving him a chance to serve on the MSBA board. He said that his year on the board will give him an opportunity to share, statewide, the Jefferson City Public Schools’ achievements in academics, sports and the performing arts.

“I hope to be able to feature the Jefferson City Public Schools to the whole state for a whole year,” he said.

Whitehead has served on the Jefferson City Board of Education for 13 years.

He graduated from Jefferson City High School in 1983 and earned a degree from Kansas State University’s Professional School of Architecture in 1988. Today, he works as director of operations and membership at the National Biodiesel Board.

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