Dr. Dale Herl has proudly served as Independence School District superintendent since 2013. Prior to that, Dr. Herl served as ISD deputy superintendent of operations and finance for four years. Dr. Herl’s focus on college and career readiness has prompted the implementation of the ISD Academies in all three high schools, giving ISD students a competitive advantage over their peers. Under his leadership, academic achievement is at an all-time high in the ISD.
One of Dr. Herl’s goals is to have every ISD student graduate from high school with an associate’s degree or an Industry Recognized Credential (IRC). In 2017, 72 percent of ISD students graduated with dual credit or an IRC, increasing by more than 50 percent in just two years. When Dr. Herl started as superintendent in 2013, the ISD offered six courses for college credit. The ISD now offers more than 90 courses for college credit with more than 400 college credit hours available. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce named the Academies of the ISD the Education Innovator of the Year in 2017. The award is given to one educational institution or program demonstrating forward-thinking strategies to better prepare students for their futures.
Dr. Herl has made it his mission to implement non-traditional ways of saving the district millions of dollars. That includes adding a health clinic for ISD employees. This saves $1.2 million every year in health care costs. Under his leadership, the ISD also became the first school district to be a captive for worker’s compensation insurance, saving more than $500,000 a year.
Before joining the Independence School District, Dr. Herl served as superintendent of schools in Burrton, Kansas. The district was one of two nationwide chosen as a model school district by the Department of Education because of its stellar academic growth. Dr. Herl began his career in education as a high school math teacher and coach in the Little River School District in Kansas, before taking a job as principal in the Greeley County School District.
Dr. Herl received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from the University of Nebraska-Kearney. He went on to earn his master’s in educational administration from Fort Hays State University and received his doctorate from Wichita State. He is an active member in the Rotary and Lions Club of Independence and is on the Centerpoint Hospital Board of Directors and ISD Foundation Board. Dr. Herl and his wife Becky have four children. His two younger children currently attend ISD schools. Dr. Herl says he loves the opportunity to impact the lives of children each and every day, “Education is the greatest and most rewarding profession there is and I’m proud to have the opportunity to lead the Independence School District.”