The West Plains Schools Board of Education sets policies and rules that govern the administration of the school district. The board operates according to both Missouri law and state Department of Education regulations, and it sets policy only when members meet in official session.
West Plains Schools Board of EducationJimmy E. Thompson, PresidentCindy Tyree, Vice PresidentSam RiggsLee FreemanBrian MitchellCourtney BeykirchChristena Coleman
Jimmy E. Thompson- Board President
First Elected: 1987
Current Term Expires: April, 2018
Profession: Avionics Support for Air Evac EMS, Inc.
Degrees/Life Experience/Volunteer Activities: 1969 graduate of West Plains High School, BS from SMSU (now MSU), MBA from MSU. Employed by the Neathery family for many years in their radio and cable television operations, later co-owner of Schwegman Office Supply for several years then served as Assistant Director of Development at SMSU-West Plains and employed by Air Evac in 2001. Longtime Rotarian and a charter member of the Rotary Club of West Plains Sunrise was a founding member of the Community Foundation of West Plains, currently serving as board vice-president, and active in Immanuel Lutheran Church--LCMS. Active in Boy Scout Troop 61 for many years as Assistant Scoutmaster and Scoutmaster.
Parent of West Plains Schools students: Amy (class of ’94), Chris (class of ’96) and Jeff (class of ’98). Grandson Joseph (class of ’16), granddaughter Abbi is currently a sophomore at West Plains High School and granddaughter Adrienne is in 7th grade at West Plains Middle School.
What does it mean to you to serve on the board: I grew up in a family that made an example of giving back to the community. There is no better way to serve the community than to do something that provides our children the opportunity to grow and learn, enabling them all to rise to their potential and to become productive citizens. The kids of today will become tomorrow’s leaders, and to have some small part in helping shape who they will become, and in the process shape our future, is humbling. There have been many changes in my 30 years on the board, but it is truly exciting to see where we were as a district then compared to where we are now and to be able to implement our vision for what we will be in the future. It is a truly fantastic experience to serve on a kid-centric board where all of our decisions are based upon doing what is best for our kids, and I’m honored our patrons have continued to show their trust in me, and have allowed me to give back to the community.
Cindy Tyree – Vice President
First Elected: 2004
Current Term Expires: 2019
Profession: Cattle Rancher and Co-Owner of Tyree’s Fertilizer
Degrees/Life Experience/Volunteer Activities: Mrs. Tyree has lived in West Plains since 1979, moving from the state of California. Mrs. Tyree has been married to her husband, Lynn, for 34 years. Tyree studied dental hygiene at Chabot College in Hayward, California, later moving to Missouri to become a cattle rancher and eventually co-owner of Tyree’s Fertilizer. Tyree serves on the West Plains Educational Foundation Board, Missouri School Board Association delegate for West Plains and serves on various committees for the West Plains School District.
Parent of West Plains Schools students: Three children, who are all West Plains graduates. Granddaughter – Ellie, a 1st grader at South Fork Elementary
“I enjoy serving the staff, students, and patrons of WP school district Everyone on our board is committed to a first-class public education that puts KIDS FIRST--- Cindy Tyree
Sam Riggs – Board Member
First Elected: 2007
Current Term Expires: 2019
Degrees/Life Experience/Volunteer Activities: BS Mechanical Engineering; MBA; Worked in manufacturing for over 24 years. Actively involved at First Baptist since moving to West Plains in 1993.
Parent of West Plains Schools Students: I have three children, all graduates from West Plains Schools in 2009, 2013, and 2017, and my daughter-in-law is a middle school teacher in the district.
What does it mean to you to serve on the board?: Young people are learning constantly. Many of the young people in our area spend part of their years learning in the West Plains Schools, and I am blessed to be able to come alongside those students and families by providing the best faculty and staff possible for learning in an environment consistent with the values that are important to our community. The people I serve with truly strive with every decision to enable excellence in education, service, and life - the West Plains School District mission.
Brian Mitchell – Board Member
First Elected: April 2013
Current Term Expires: March 2018
Profession: City of West Plains Street Superintendent
Degrees/Life Experience/Volunteer Activities: I was born at West Plains Memorial Hospital in 1972, and have lived here all my life. After graduating from West Plains Senior High in 1990 I attended Linn Tech to start my career in construction with a yearlong training. I then went to work for the City as a Medium Equipment operator and through many years of dedication to our great City I have moved up to the position I hold now and still love serving my community at work or the School board and also am active with the Heart of the Ozarks Fair board.
Parent of West Plains Schools Students: Brandon WP Graduate 2016, Weston Junior WPHS
What does it mean to you to serve on the board: I feel our community needs people to volunteer, to take the time to assure the general public that we are getting what is best for our town and that our money is getting spent in the best way for our kids. Not to have a certain agenda but to give our kids a better education and to make sure we try and stay up with the times and at the same time, the kids need practical and basic skills to prepare them for life.
Lee Freeman – Board Member
First Elected: 2011
Current Term Expires: 2020
Profession: American Family Insurance Agent
Degrees/Life Experience/Volunteer Activities: Mr. Freeman has lived in West Plains for 15 years and has been married to his wife, Brenda, for 29 years. Freeman has coached several youth sports programs including Optimist football and YMCA softball. He also loves to hunt, fish and play golf with his son.
Parent of West Plains Schools Students: Mr. Freeman has two daughters and a son who are graduates of West Plains High School
“The West Plains School District is a class operation. I feel honored and privileged to serve on a board that has the opportunity to work with an administration and staff to help students of this district.” --- Lee Freeman
Courtney Beykirch – Board Member
First Elected: 2014
Current Term Expires: 2020
Profession: Board Member and Officer of West Plains Bank & Trust Company
Parent of West Plains Schools students: Caroline (senior); Jack & Will (5th grade)
What does it mean to you to serve on the board: I’m honored to represent the West Plains School District patrons and community members who share a common goal: providing excellence in education for our students. As a Board member, it’s a privilege to serve with an innovative team of educators and administrators in shaping the future for our students, and consequently, our community. Our students’ success is the community’s success.
Christena Silvey Coleman – Board Member
First Elected: 2017
Current Term Expires: 2020
Degrees/Life Experience/Volunteer Activities: High School- 1989 West Plains High School; College- Southwest Missouri State University (MSU) Bachelor of Science- 1992 Major: Organizational Communications. Minor: History; Criminal Justice. Graduate-University of Arkansas. Juris Doctorate- 1995
Parent of West Plains Schools Student: Daughter, Caroline Camille Coleman, Fourth Grade
What does it mean to you to serve on the board? I am serving on the West Plains School District board because of my desire to see the district be on the cutting edge of educating our students utilizing the most advance technology and curriculum and see our students succeed on the national and international level.