Huff Named LCC’s Van Meter Alumni Award Recipient

Contact Bethany Kendrick, Director Public Relations
Labette Community College | (620) 820-1280

The Labette Community College Alumni Association announces the 12th Annual William & Allene Guthrie Van Meter Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award. The 2011 recipient of this prestigious award is Dr. C.J. Huff, of Joplin, MO. Huff is a graduate of Labette Community College and is currently in his fourth year as the Superintendent of Joplin public schools.

Prior to accepting the Superintendent position with Joplin schools, Dr. Huff served four years as the Superintendent of Schools in the Eldon School District, near Lake of the Ozarks. He has also served as a principal in the Nixa, Springfield, and the Bolivar School Districts and as an elementary classroom teacher in Bolivar, MO and Pleasanton, KS.

Dr. Huff received his two associate degrees from Labette Community College, a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Pittsburg State University, a Masters and Specialist Degree from Missouri State University, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

In addition to his administrative responsibilities with the schools, Dr. Huff remains active in the Joplin Community through his participation on the Joplin Chamber of Commerce, United Way Board of Directors, Bright Futures U.S.A. Board of Directors, and serves as a “lunch buddy” through Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

Dr. Huff was born and raised in Southeast Kansas near the town of McCune. Prior to becoming an educator he was a farmer for eight years and attributes much of the success he has achieved to a strong work ethic and values instilled in him by his family. He has been married fourteen years to his wife, Jennifer. Together they have three children, of whom he is very proud, Savannah, age 11, Keaton, age 9, and Julianne, age 2.

Dr. Huff has received many special recognitions and taken part in several professional actions throughout his career including: the Powerful Learning Conference Central Office Award, American School Board Journal’s Prestigious Magna Award, and initiating legislative changes to raise Missouri standards regarding high school drop-out criteria, plus several other distinctions.

Most recently Dr. Huff has received much notoriety for his leadership in reopening the Joplin public schools, post the May 22nd tornado that destroyed 9 of 20 buildings in the district. Administration, teachers, parents, and students had only 87 days to prepare for the school year. Under his direction, the Joplin school district was able to begin school on schedule.

This award will be presented at the 14th Annual Donor Appreciation Luncheon on Friday, November 18th at the Parsons Municipal Auditorium. The award was named in memory of the Van Meters for their generous estate gift that funded renovation of Thiebaud Theatre at LCC. William was a 1929 graduate of the college and Allene taught romance languages at the college from 1929 to 1935. Previous Alumni who have received this award include; Dr. Jerry Bouman in 2010, Dr. Sandra K. Willsie in 2009, William “Pat” Haley in 2008, Dr. Jeffery J. Quirin in 2007, and Roch Switlik in 2006. For a complete list of recipients or for more information on the William and Allene Guthrie Van Meter Outstanding Alumni Award, please contact Lindi Forbes, LCC Foundation and Alumni Director, at (620) 820-1212 or by e-mail at

Nominate Someone

To nominate someone please send a letter and brief biography to:

Labette Community College Alumni Association
200 South 14th Street
Parsons, KS 67357

Or use the:
Online Nomination Form

If you have questions, please e-mail Lindi Forbes, Executive Director of the Alumni Association, or call (620) 421-6700, ext. 1212.