BURLINGTON JCT., Mo. — The West Nodaway R-I school district announced last week that the Board of Education has hired Tim Harding as middle school-high school principal for the 2021-2022 school year.

Harding will take over the duties from Superintendent Mitch Barnes, who remains in his primary administrative role.

“Educators are in the business of improving the future of our students, as our students are the future of our community,” Harding said in a statement emailed to The Forum. “I have always had an open-door policy for anyone to discuss concerns, ideas, strategies, and successes. Therefore, while every journey begins with a single step, my first step will be to survey and listen to individuals in the district on what we, as a school district, can do to continue to improve student learning.

“While I do have my own personal plans and thoughts on what may be needed, it is only through the building of trust and a commitment to the future of our students that we will be successful. I am very excited for the opportunity to serve the West Nodaway School District and its community. I consider working here to be a great honor. Go Rockets!”

Harding has 17 years of experience in a diverse set of roles in the classroom, and three years as both a principal and athletic director. Harding currently teaches Project Lead the Way, a program that focuses on STEM curricula, at Spring Garden Middle School in St. Joseph.

Past stops include Pattonsburg, North Daviess, Winston, Cainsville and Ridgeway, near where Harding said he was raised on a farm.

Harding graduated in 2000 from Northwest Missouri State University with a degree in Animal Science, and returned to the family farm for a few years before beginning his teaching career.

“My family is very important to me,” Harding said. “I have been blessed with 23 years of marriage to my high school sweetheart, Sheila.”

Sheila Harding, a Northwest Missouri State University graduate, has taught middle school and high school English at Cainsville for the past 12 years. Tim and Sheila have two children: Jacob, a senior in high school planning to major in computer programming at the University of Central Missouri, and Emma, a sophomore who is planning to attend Northwest to become a teacher.

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