Making A Difference for Children: Brandon Eggleston
I believe that for someone who wants to make a difference in this world, there is not a better career than education.
By Kathleen Swift
“I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember,” said Brandon Eggleston, superintendent of Seneca R7 Schools. Dr. Eggleston served as a teacher, coach, assistant principal and principal of North Middle School in Joplin for 16 years and principal of Joplin High School for two years. This is his first year as superintendent of Seneca R7.
SMTO: What inspired your career in education?
Eggleston: I honestly believe what inspired me to be a teacher was the impact great teachers had on me. A career in education revolves around the central premise of making a difference in the lives of children. I believe that for someone who wants to make a difference in this world, there is not a better career than education.
SMTO: What have you learned through your years in education?
Eggleston: The experience and lessons I gained from being a teacher and principal are immeasurable. As a teacher, you learn the power in relationships, organization, connecting with people and working as a team member. As a principal, you learn quickly that leadership matters. You learn that what you say and what you do must be aligned. As a principal, I learned there isn’t a hat I don’t wear; on any given day a principal is a teacher, custodian, nurse, counselor, dietician, colleague, cheerleader, mentor, fan or supervisor. All of these lessons and experiences gave me an understanding of what goes on during the school day and how every decision made will have an impact on someone and something greater than me.
SMTO: Why do you think public education is important?
Eggleston: Thomas Jefferson said education will produce citizens who understand political and social issues, participate in civic life, vote wisely, protect rights and freedoms, and keep the nation secure from inside and outside threats. I completely agree with Jefferson, but public education does so much more for the individual student. In public education, students are participating daily in a micro society that they will soon be living on their own in, working in and raising a family in. Public education in the United States doesn’t pick and choose who gets to attend or come at a price where some aren’t able to attend. Public education welcomes all students from all walks of life and chooses to love and grow each and every child that comes through the doors. There is not a better place to prepare a child for adulthood than in a public school with highly trained professionals who wake up every day with a desire to make a difference in the lives of children. I am so proud of the public schools in Southwest Missouri and believe we are fortunate to have high-quality schools in this area.
SMTO: What makes the Seneca R7 School District an outstanding school district?
Eggleston: Many things make Seneca an outstanding school district, but there are two major qualities that are immediately noticeable. First, is the pride and ownership the community has for the school. The community supports the school in the classroom and outside of the classroom. Second, is the quality of people we have working here. The custodial, food service, maintenance, transportation, secretarial, teaching and administrative staff are high-quality people who work hard and want what is best for students. They believe every position in the district plays a valuable role in the life and education of a child.
SMTO: What do you love the most about being an educator?
Eggleston: I work in a place where every day I can play with a three-year-old or watch an 18-year-old graduate. I love having a job that can make a difference in this world.