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Outgoing Joplin Schools superintendent has no regrets - KOAM TV 7

Outgoing Joplin Schools superintendent has no regrets

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Joplin, MO - Joplin Schools Superintendent C.J. Huff says some parts of his decision to leave the school district surprise even him.

"I'm 45 years old.  Retirement at 45 years of age is not something that most people probably think about.  But I had the opportunity to do so," says Huff.

Huff says a recent resident-driven petition to remove him as superintendent had no impact into his decision to retire.  While Huff says he supported the petition's underlying purpose of letting people's voices be heard, he believes just as many people would have signed a petition of support for him.

"You can't get 100 percent of the people to agree the sky is blue," says Huff.

Huff is credited with rebuilding Joplin schools after the tornado, organizing more than 325 million dollars in construction projects and facility improvements since his job began in Joplin in 2008.

The District also says he helped increase a graduation rate of 73 percent to 88 percent.

"My hope is...and everybody is tired...those people who have been carrying the water for so long as part of this recovery effort, which has been very difficult on a day-to-day basis, I'm looking forward to seeing what they do, going forward, as they get their second wind.  Just like I'm going to get my second wind," says Huff.

Huff says he doesn't know yet what the second wind will entail, and has no specific plans for a future job.  But he does plan on staying in Joplin and spending more time with his family.

"It's a 24/7 job, truly, and I'm always on-call and it makes it hard, even when I'm home, to be at home, if you know what I mean," says Huff.

Huff says more family time is the only reason for his retirement.

Huff's retirement will be effective June 30th.  

Huff says he has no regrets about the past.

"Certainly, hindsight is always 20/20 and from a construction standpoint, could there have been things done differently?  Putting a door here, rather than there, or design features, or what have you.  But you can't life your life regretting decisions you made in the past, when at the time, you made them for the right reasons with the best information you had at the time," says Huff.

Click here for our full interview with C.J. Huff.

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