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School Communities to Welcome New Leaders for 2020-21

(February 10, 2020) Several buildings in the St. Joseph School District will welcome new leaders to serve their school communities next year.

Webster Learning Center

Leah Richardson will join Webster Learning Center’s leadership team as an assistant principal for the 2020-21 school year. She will fill the role currently held by John Schlange who recently announced his plans to retire at the end of this school year.

“We are excited for Mrs. Richardson to join our team,” said Jon Salanky, Webster principal. “At the same time, we are sad to see Mr. Schlange go. He has made a positive impact on countless students during his 30 years with the SJSD.  His institutional knowledge and passion to serve students will be greatly missed.”

Richardson has been with the district since 2006. She started as a teacher, before moving into leadership roles at Oak Grove Elementary, Webster Learning Center, Humboldt Elementary and Lindbergh Elementary.

Richardson holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from William Woods University and a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Missouri Western State University. She is currently taking courses to complete her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The Lindbergh principal opening is now posted at

Bode Middle School

Dr. Sarah Barmann-Smith will join the Bode Middle School administrative team as principal for the 2020-21 school year. Dr. Barmann-Smith will take over for Roberta Dias who recently announced plans to retire as Bode’s principal at the end of this school year.

Dias has been with the SJSD for more than 25 years. She started her career in Stewartsville, before joining the district where she spent more than a decade at Benton High School then joined the team at Bode Middle School.

Dr. Barmann-Smith currently serves as the high school/middle school principal for the Albany R-III School District. Prior to that, she was an elementary principal in Albany.  Dr. Barmann-Smith began her career in education as a teacher. She taught high school English and middle school reading in Albany, as well as English at Fort Osage High School where she was also the K-12 ELA curriculum facilitator and ELA department chair.

Dr. Barmann-Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education and a master’s degree in K-12 Educational Administration from Northwest Missouri State University, and her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis through the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Assistant Director of Special Programs

Dlo DuVall has been selected as the district’s new Assistant Director of Special Programs.

DuVall’s career in education spans nearly 25 years with experience ranging from early childhood education to administration. She currently serves as principal at Edison Elementary School in St. Joseph. Prior to that, DuVall was an administrative intern at Edison, Hosea, and Lindbergh Elementary Schools.

DuVall has a specialist degree in Administration from William Woods University, a master’s degree in Teaching: Instructional Technology from Northwest Missouri State University, and a bachelor’s in Elementary Education from Missouri Western State University. She holds certifications in Building Level Administration (K-8), Librarian (K-12), Elementary Education (1-8), and Early Childhood Education (PK-3).

DuVall will remain with Edison as principal through the end of the school year. The principal opening at Edison for the 2020-21 school year is now posted at