The Ottumwa Community School District didn’t have to look far for the next principal of Evans Middle School—in fact, literally just right down the road. Ottumwa native, Missy Carson-Roark, has been named the principal at Evans Middle School, effective July 1. She will replace Dave Harper, who will become the superintendent at Sigourney Community Schools.
Carson-Roark received her undergraduate degree in Physical Education and Coaching from Creighton University, a Masters of Arts in Behavior Disorders from Morningside College, and her Educational Administration degree from Drake University. She started her professional career as an associate, then teacher for the Juvenile Shelter program. She then became a special education consultant, serving Evans and Wildwood Elementary. Both positions were with Southern Prairie Area Education Agency. She joined Ottumwa Schools in 2002 as an Intervention Specialist and became the principal at Horace Mann in 2006. She is currently a principal at Liberty Elementary.
As the search process began, the district established criteria for a successful candidate. These traits and abilities included having collaborative skills; high expectations for students and staff; knowledge of curriculum, instruction, and assessment; a positive rapport with students and parents; and previous successful experience. “As we identified the characteristics of the new principal, it became evident that we had the right person already in our district,” said Davis Eidahl, superintendent. “Missy is a leader who can create a sense of belonging for each and every student. She is a passionate advocate for students who leads by example. Her integrity, honor, and selfless service will help Evans Middle School continue to be a recognized leader in the state.”
An Evans and OHS graduate herself, Carson-Roark is married to husband, Ray, and together have two grown children, Joe (Columbia University) and Olivia (Missouri State).
Carson-Roark wants to continue the work started at Evans. “This is a great opportunity to hook onto something that is moving in the right direction,” she said. “The focus on students is the same as mine,” she said. “I want to make Evans a place where students and parents want to be every day.”