Episode 4 

Date: September 1, 2015

Run Time: 1:03:11

In this episode, school leaders from Joplin, Missouri share an uplifting story about how a school district turned to its community in the face of disaster to create new hope and inspiration with the creation of the “Bright Futures” community outreach program.


Dr. C.J. Huff has been an educator for the past 19 years. He has served children as an elementary teacher, elementary principal, and superintendent of schools. Most recently, he served as the superintendent of schools in Joplin, Missouri for the past 7 years. Recently retired, Dr. Huff is currently an education and leadership consultant focusing on strategic leadership and community engagement.

Rick Neal is in his fourth year as the Superintendent of Schools of the Pea Ridge School District in Pea Ridge, Arkansas. Rick previously served as the principal at Pea Ridge High School before being elevated to the superintendent’s post. Under Rick’s leadership, the Pea Ridge School District has been a Bright Futures affiliate for three years.

Melissa Winston – Bright Futures Joplin Coordinator

Melissa joined the team as the coordinator of BFJoplin in November of 2013. She hit the ground running and hasn’t stopped since. Melissa’s undergraduate degree is in Education from Ozark Christian College. Melissa also holds a Master of Science degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from Capella University and is working towards full licensure in the State of Missouri. Melissa been passionately serving the community of Joplin in the Human Service arena since she was just 18 years old. She brings experience from Christ’s Church of Oronogo, The Bridge, The Boys & Girls Clubs of SWMO, Choices Medical Clinic, and House of Hope Joplin. Melissa is married to her hubby Erik and together they have two little boys who keep them running. Melissa loves to decorate, travel with her family, and make Lego masterpieces with her boys. Melissa is passionate about kids and families and serves tirelessly to ensure that every child in the Joplin School District has the resources and supports necessary to be successful in school. She also works with a dedicated team of community partners to influence systemic cultural change in Joplin for healthier families and kids.

About The Goin’ Digital Show:

The Goin’ Digital Show airs every other Tuesday night at 8 pm Eastern/7 pm Central on the Teach Cow Broadcasting Network at TeachCow.com. Hosted by Dr. Greg Goins, a veteran school superintendent in southern Illinois, The Goin’ Digital Show is a live, one-hour Google Hangout that promotes the principles of Digital Leadership in K-12 schools and features many of the nation’s top school superintendents, principals and innovators in public education. Connect with Dr. Goins on Twitter at @wfsuper or visit www.goindigital.com.

Posted by Gregory Goins

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