Couch superintendent to retire

Tuesday, January 3, 2012
DR. DREW BENNETT, left, chancellor of MSU-WP, shakes hands with Couch School Superintendent Tom Bull during a High School Extravaganza visit from Missouri State-West Plains officials and students in April 2008. Bull is retiring in 2012.

On June 30, 2012, Couch School Superintendent William "Tom" Bull will finally leave the school he graduated from in 1970.

On Dec. 12, Bull, 59, submitted his retirement request to the Couch School Board, which the board accepted.

"We will sure miss him," board president Joe Garrison said Monday, Dec. 26. "He has given his life to education."

After graduation from Couch High School, Bull returned in 1974 to teach for two years. He then taught science and coached boys basketball in Thayer for two years.

From 1984-2001, Bull taught science and coached girls basketball in Mammoth Spring, before returning to his alma mater, where he has remained.

Bull said he will miss seeing the children daily, but will always be a resident of the district.

"We have a great group of teachers and a good board to work with," Bull said. "It's like I told the board, 'It's still my school.'"

Bull said he has seen many changes since he began teaching in the early 1970s, most notably in technology. Students today can also get one year of college classes while still in high school, he said.

Bull used his first computer in 2001 at Mammoth Spring to record student grades.

"Now, I live on it," Bull said. "It's unreal -- technology."

Computers and Smart Boards are now in nearly every classroom, starting in kindergarten.

Most recently, under Bull's leadership, the district revamped its school calendar, adding 35 minutes to the day to shorten the year by 12 days.

As this is the first year for the switch, Bull said, so far, the schedule is working well.

He has concerns, however, about the long summer break for students, especially young elementary children.

"It wouldn't concern me as much if we still had summer school, but there is no way we can fund that now," Bull said.

The district has posted Bull's position on the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Web site with a starting annual salary of about $54,000.

The new superintendent will take over in August 2012.

In other business

* The board approved the senior class request to take a trip to Destin, Fla., if the class has funding.

* The board agreed to seek bids to buy a new handicap-accessible bus.

* Bull told the board the district was granted $1,000 by Pamida stores in Doniphan to replace some equipment.

* The board approved allowing only coaches to sit on the sideline benches during games. No non-employees will act as coaches.

* Amy Brosch was added to the substitute teacher list.

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