In a way, Dred Scott's career in education will be coming full circle.
Scott, who has been in administration with the Independence School District for 10 years, has been named the next president/CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kansas City. He will succeed Dave Smith, who is retiring at the end of this month after 25 years leading the organization.
As deputy superintendent, Scott has overseen the district's early education programs and provides direction in curriculum instruction and assessment. Before joining ISD, Scott worked in the Raytown District for 12 years as an elementary school teacher and principal and then executive director of support services.
While working on his undergraduate degree at Southwest Missouri State (now Missouri State) in Springfield, Scott helped as a youth leader at the local Boys & Girls Club. He said he had been “somewhat aware” of Smith's impending retirement but had been more focused on his ISD duties, and his interest in the Boys & Girls Club grew after a conversation with a member of the search firm.
“That was kind of my first foray into the educational realm,” he said of his youth leader days. “So, I've got a connection that goes well back, and in my role in the district I worked closely with the two units in Independence (on Leslie Street and in Hawthorne Place). It's just an organization that I felt matched my core beliefs and passions. I like supporting youths that are at-risk.”
The Boys & Girls Club aims to provide youths, particularly those from disadvantaged circumstances, with a fun and safe environment to learn, play and meet new friends and during non-school hours. It serves more than 1,000 metro area youth per day.
Scott also serves on the Truman Medical Center Board of Trustees and on the boards of directors for Drumm Farm Center for Children, Jackson County Children's Community Services Fund and Community Services League. He and his wife have three children and reside in Independence.
Independence Superintendent Dale Herl said the district will miss Scott deeply.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for Dr. Scott to continue to positively impact the lives of children here in our community,” Herl said, “and we will maintain a strong connection as he moves into his role with the Boys & Girls Club.”
Scott plans to take over his new position in the summer after he transfers his ISD responsibilities, while Smith will continue to provide leadership support and assist with the new capital campaign and program development.
“The group is positioned to continue in a positive direction in the community,” Scott said.
Smith, who had announced his impending retirement in January 2017, said in a release that Scott will be an “outstanding” new face for the organization.
“Over the years, we have worked closely with him in his role with ISD, and he has always been a strong community partner,” Smith said, adding that he was excited a person of Scott's “experience, professionalism and especially his passion for helping young people” was motivated to pursue the job.
“Dr. Scott will bring an increased level of leadership to our current educational priorities toward assuring our members' success in this critical area.”