"I'm very straightforward," said Scott Ireland in a telephone interview Monday. "There's no flash when it comes to my approach. I'm the kind who just wants to get the job done."
Ireland, currently the superintendent of the Pleasant Hope School District in Pleasant Hope, Mo., accepted the position Friday after the Perry County School Board voted to offer him a three-year contract set to begin in July.
Ireland will replace the retiring Dr. Kevin Dunn, superintendent of the district for the last six years. Ireland was one of three finalists who introduced themselves to school board members and district staff Dec. 4. He said at the time he would not be a micromanager and reiterated as much during his interview.
"I trust the school district's principals," he said. "They're professionals and should be allowed to run their own buildings."
According to Ireland, one of a superintendent's primary jobs is community relations, and he plans to attend all community events.
"Superintendents should be seen and be highly accessible to everyone," he said. "I'll also have an open-door policy so teachers will have as much access to me as do administrators."
Ireland comes to Perryville after 16 years in education. He started his teaching career in Niangua, Mo., and became a principal in the Montrose School District in Montrose, Mo. He was later named superintendent there, while also coaching boys and girls high school basketball teams, guiding the Montrose girls to a state championship during the 2009-2010 basketball season and receiving Girls Coach of the Year honors from the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association. Ireland became superintendent of the Pleasant Hope schools in 2011.
Tina Littge, president of the Perry County School Board, said the vote to approve Ireland was unanimous.
"I was happy with all three of our finalists," Littge said. "We had a good selection to choose from. But we liked Scott's background and went with him. I plan to give him my full support and assist him in keeping our school district running strong."
Ireland said he hopes to arrive in Perryville with his family at the end of May.
As for his immediate plans for the Perryville district, Ireland said he wants to confer with school administrators before the Christmas break and with teachers after the break.
"I want us to be able to hit the ground running when my job begins in July," he said.
Ireland obtained his bachelor of science in physical education from Missouri State University in 1996 and his master's degree in K-12 administration from William Woods University in 2002. He received a specialist degree in superintendency from the University of Central Missouri in 2010 and is working toward his doctorate at Lindenwood University. He is married with twin 12-year-old sons and a stepson who is serving his third tour of duty in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army.
Littge declined to discuss the terms of Ireland's contract.
326 College St., Perryville, Mo.