ANDERSON, Mo. — Big changes in leadership are in store for one local school district.

McDonald County Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Stanton announced his retirement to the Board of Education at its regular monthly meeting Thursday night.

Stanton has been in education for 29 and a half years and has been superintendent at McDonald County for the past 13 years.

In a statement to the board, Stanton said it was a tough decision to make.

“It is very difficult to express in words the love and passion that I have for our school district,” Stanton said while choking back tears. “In my career, my fondest memories in education have been here in McDonald County. In my tenure here in the County, I have been blessed to work with an incredible and supportive staff. I have always admired how hard our staff and communities work to help our students be successful and to give them hope for tomorrow”

Stanton recounted his educational career during his retirement speech. He started teaching in Galena, KS, and held administrative roles in Oklahoma as well as teaching and administrative roles in Missouri schools. He served as McDonald County High School principal before being hired as Superintendent. 

Stanton will stay on through his 2022-23 contract while the board launches the process to search for and hire a new superintendent. 

“I want to end this by saying what I say to graduates each year with a slight twist at the end: “My hope for all of you is that you will always follow your heart and dreams, be your best – smile, laugh a lot along the way and remember I will always be a Mustang!”