Retired School Superintendent William “Donald” Shull passed away Dec. 4, 2017.
Mr. Shull was the beloved superintendent of the Raymore-Peculiar School District from 1966 to 1984, and is the only person to have a district school named after him. In August, he and his wife, Rose Ann, attended the ceremony as the school was re-dedicated as Shull Early Learning Center.
Current Superintendent Dr. Kari Monsees said that Mr. Shull would be missed.
"Mr. Shull has been a pillar of the Ray-Pec School District for decades,” said Dr. Monsees. “Through his lengthy time as superintendent, and the many years of volunteer support efforts afterwards, he always had a focus on our students. He will be greatly missed."
Mr. Shull was born Feb. 7, 1928, in Pettis County, Mo., and moved to Cross Timbers, Mo., in 7th grade. He graduated from Cross Timbers High School and received his bachelor’s degree from Southwest Missouri State University and his master’s degree from Central Missouri State University. On April 30, 1950, is married Rose Ann Tull. They have two children, a son, Stanley, and a daughter, Abbe.
Mr. Shull began his career in education in 1948 teaching all eight grades at Owsley School, a rural school in Hickory County. He then taught at Lookout School in Benton County for two years. His next position was teaching seventh and eighth grades at Preston, where he also coached boys’ basketball and softball. He was recruited to Osceola, where for seven years he taught physical education and coached basketball. The following year, he was the principal and counselor. He worked four more years at Osceola as the Superintendent.
In 1965, after 12 years at Osceola, Shull was contacted by Ray-Pec to see if he would apply for the superintendent’s job. He declined, saying he was happy where he was. Ray-Pec hired another man, who died after a year as superintendent. Ray-Pec called again and asked Shull to interview. He decided to accept after learning the salary was $12,000, an increase of $3,000. In 1966, he accepted the job of Superintendent of the Ray-Pec School District. He and his family moved to Raymore.
During Shull’s 18 years as Superintendent, enrollment in the district grew from about 1,000 students to more than 2,400 students. He led the recently consolidated district as two communities worked to become one. Throughout his career, he frequently used the motto, "We'll do what's best for the kids."
He retired in 1984. Rose Ann retired the same year, following a 34-year career in education.
In 1992, the District honored him by naming a school after him. His portrait hangs inside the front entrance. The Shull school has served several purposes over the years, including as a junior high, sixth grade center, intermediate school, elementary school, and now as the district’s early childhood center.
Inn 2014, the Raymore-Peculiar Public School Foundation presented Mr. Shull with the inaugural "Partner in Education" award at the Foundation's Gala in March 2014.
When interviewed after retirement, he said that maintaining the quality of education and upgrading the district’s facilities were among his greatest achievements at Ray-Pec.
He was known for his practical approach to problem solving, his sense of humor, and commitment to people.
He held executive offices in most educational organizations across the state of Missouri. He was honored as the Outstanding Active Administrator in West Central Missouri in 1981, and was named the Outstanding Administrator for the State of Missouri from the Missouri Interscholastic Press Association and Missouri Journalism Educational Association. He served as president of the Board of Control of the Missouri State High School Activities Association. In 1996, the Missouri Association of School Administrators honored him with the “Outstanding Emeritus Educator Award” for the West Central District. In 1999, at the annual banquet of the Cooperating Conference for School Administrators, he was honored as a Pioneer in Education by then-Commission of Education Robert Barman.
In additional to his involvement in educational organizations statewide, he was active in the community. He was a member of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church and was a director of the Community Bank of Raymore. His community involvement included the Raymore Historical Society, the Raymore Park Board, the Raymore Lions Club, and the Research Belton Foundation Board. After retirement, he attended many Ray-Pec events and continued to be involved with the Optimist Club.
The visitation is scheduled from 5 to 7p.m., Thursday, Dec. 7, at Cullen Funeral Home in Raymore. The funeral service will begin at 10 a.m., Friday, Dec. 8, at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Raymore. A 2:30 p.m. graveside service will take place at Cross Timbers Cemetery, Hickory County, Mo.