Southwick is a former superintendent in the Belton (MO) School District. He also has worked in the Maryville and Excelsior Springs schools. At Belton, he spent 22 years in the central office as director of special education, director of secondary curriculum and 12 years as superintendent.
After graduating from William Jewell College in 1976, Southwick was a social studies teacher, counselor and football and baseball coach in Maryville. He moved back to his hometown of Excelsior Springs in 1979 to teach and coach, becoming the head football coach. In 1985, he moved to the central office as director of special education.
Southwick becomes the second deputy superintendent for the district. Bob DiPierro holds the title of deputy superintendent for operations. The superintendent’s cabinet also includes three associate superintendents and a chief academic officer. Southwick’s employment was approved on the human resources consent agenda without comment from the board. His salary is listed at $169,500 with a three-year contract and an effective date of May 5.
Shawnee Mission Superintendent Jim Hinson said Southwick would oversee special education in his role as deputy. He also brings strong skills in community engagement, Hinson said. Belton developed a strategic vision with key stakeholders and passed four bond issues to help achieve the goals.
Southwick retired from Belton in 2010 and has been working as an educational planner with an architectural firm that designs school facilities. He and his wife of 37 years, Suzette, have one son who lives in Los Angeles.