JOPLIN, Mo. — The Joplin High School principal said his time on campus is coming to an end.

Dr. Stephen Gilbreth will retire from the position this year.

He’s been with the Joplin School District since 1996, starting first as a teacher at North Middle School. He’s also served as both an assistant principal and principal at Joplin schools before moving to the central office, where he was the Assistant Superintendent of Learning Services for two years. He moved over to become the high school principal in 2019.

Just earlier this school year, Dr. Gilbreth was named Distinguished Alumnus from Missouri Southern State University. Over the past 26 years he has been nominated for, and won, several teaching related awards in the area and state such as:

  • The Golden Apple Award winner in 1999
  • Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year award winner in 1999
  • Nomination for Joplin R-VIII Teacher of the Year in 1999
  • Honorable Mention in PSU Graduate Student Research Colloquium in 2002
  • Gold Star Award from State of Missouri for Memorial Middle School in 2006
  • Teacher/Principal of the month in November 2006 from
  • Recipient of the Wayne B. McClelland Citizen Achievement award in May 2007
  • Recipient of Chamber of Commerce Everyday Hero award in April 2007

“Dr. Gilbreth has served our school system extremely well in many different capacities over a long career, and has been able to make a lasting impact on our students and staff during his time here,” said Joplin Schools superintendent Dr. Kerry Sachetta.

“Steve has proved time and time again throughout his outstanding career that he is always up for a challenge. His leadership, instructional focus, and ability to forge positive and productive relationships are all paramount to his successes in
our district,” added Dr. Sachetta.

“One of my greatest pleasures is walking the hallways of Joplin High School and greeting students and teachers every day,” said Dr. Gilbreth. “I want everyone to feel welcomed, and I want students to know they are what makes this the ‘Greatest High School in the Universe’. It is exhilarating knowing we work in a place that can impact so many lives in a positive way. I always dreamed of being a rock star, but my reality as an educator was far greater than any music career could have offered. I will miss JHS!”

Dr. Gilbreth is a lifetime resident of Joplin and graduated from Parkwood High School in 1978.