Scott Moore is the principal at Fort Osage High School.
He is also a husband, a father, an organ donor, a cancer survivor, a collector of sports memorabilia, GI Joe action figures and comic books, and he's a viral video sensation.
When the Fort Osage School District recently experienced three snow days, the principal planned a “What Does Your Principal Do on a Snow Day Video” for each day.
Thousands and thousands of Twitter views later, he is quite the celebrity.
On Day 1, he rode a unicycle. That set the stage for the memorable series that drew rave reviews from his staff and students.
“I bought the unicycle about a month ago,” said Moore, whose Fort Osage office is a reflection of the man who runs the show for the Indians – there’s an Aqua Man figurine, autographed bats from George Brett and Alex Gordon, football helmets (that include one signed by former Fort Osage Simone Award winner Skylar Thompson and Moore’s Bullitt High School helmet), and photo after photo of his family – and that includes his Fort Osage family.
“One of our assistant principals, Andy Zuber, came in the office and we decided we were going to learn how to ride the thing. Then we got Ryan Schartz, our activities director involved and we’re all learning how to ride it.”
And there, with the help of a support wall, the coolest principal on the planet took off on his unicycle for the video.
Day 2 was perhaps the most memorable, as Moore demonstrated the difficult flip throw, a soccer move where the player places the ball on the ground and does an actual flip.
“I played some soccer in high school back in 1992 and thought, ‘Why not?’” Moore said, grinning. “I wasn’t the best player, so they put me in at goalie, and I did a few flip throws. So, I went down to the gym, took off my shoes and socks and actually did better than I anticipated.”
Day 3 was a no brainer.
“I’ve been juggling quite a while,” he said, “so I thought let's end this on a high note. I got a tennis ball, a soccer ball and a racquet ball and was able to keep them all in the air.”
Then, came the hard part.
“It looked like we might have a Day 4, and I was out of things to do,” he admitted. “So, luckily we went back to school on Day 4 and I arranged with our English teacher, Amanda Shropshire, for me to come into her class and announce Day 4, like we were out of school.
“Then, her students say, ‘Mr. Moore, we’re right here.’”
It was the perfect end to a series that went viral, making Moore somewhat of a celebrity.
“I did it for fun,” said Moore, who donated a kidney to a friend of a friend back in 2000 and then beat Stage 4 cancer in his neck in 2016.
When asked about Moore, Schartz smiled from ear to ear and said, “I could write a book on the guy. Better yet, let me write this story.
“Mr. Moore is one of the most genuine people I have had the privilege of knowing. He has a great love for life and the Fort Osage School district. I have worked with and taught with what some people would consider ‘tough’ kids and adults, but there are none tougher than Mr. Moore! He beat cancer! He donated a kidney to a friend of a friend – someone he didn’t really know!
“He is one of the most humble, selfless people I know and is a pleasure to work for. He is a Renaissance Man in the truest sense of the word. He has a great balance in his life – I mean how many principals can juggle, play the drums, ride a unicycle, kick field goals and know everything there is to know about comic books? He is a forward thinker and has a wonderful sense of humor. He is what is right with education!”
Assistant principals Zuber and Tracie Gramkow agree.
“It is a blast to work with Scott on a daily basis,” Gramkow said. “He cares about his staff and his students. And, let’s say, he’s an interesting and wonderful individual. I mean, how many principals do you know who own a unicycle?
“He is the most thoughtful and caring person I know, and in the wake of many challenges we face today, it is so wonderful to work with someone like Scott. For instance, I got home the other day and I had a message on my phone that said, ‘Want you to know I appreciate all you do. You’re awesome.’
“How awesome is that? And he does it so frequently, that you know he’s genuine.”
Zuber believes the relationships Moore builds with individuals are long lasting and life changing.
“Scott values relationships more than anyone I know,” Zuber said. “That makes working with him, and for him, enjoyable. That also helps create a positive culture. His door is open to all students and staff, and supporting people is something that he enjoys doing.
“We have a lot of fun when the time is right. We often sit around after students and most staff have left for the day to discuss the day's events. He can tell if one of us is stressed about something, and he does a good job of thinking through the issue with us and then does something to make us laugh.”
As Moore talks about his life, his unicycle stands in the corner, his sports and superhero memorabilia fills one side of the room and his love of Fort Osage and its staff and students fills the other.
“That’s the Scott side,” he said, pointing to the shelves filled with memorabilia, “and this is the Mr. Moore side, with all my photos from Fort Osage. I can say with complete honesty, I love what I do. I love coming to work, I love my students and faculty and yes, I love learning how to ride a unicycle.”
As a student enters the Fort Osage office and discovers Moore is going to be featured in The Examiner, she starts clapping and jumping with excitement.
“Our principal is cooler than any other principal,” she said. “We love him, because he loves us. And he’s a little bit crazy and big-time funny which makes him even cooler.”