Dr. Eric Wilken, Superintendent

  • Dr. Wilken

    Dr. Eric Wilken joined the Willard Family in 2021.

    I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to serve the Willard School District and the community. I am excited to work alongside this amazing team to help grow student leaders and life-ready graduates. I grew up in Aurora, Missouri and moved to Skyline School District my senior year, where I graduated. My wife Julie and I have three children. Cooper is a senior, Callie 7th grade, and Camden 4th grade.  Julie is a RN and teaches in the nursing program at Southwest Baptist University on the Bolivar campus. Prior to Willard, I spent 5 years teaching middle school math at School of the Osage, four years as elementary principal/athletic director at Weaubleau, and 11 years as superintendent at Weaubleau School District. I hold a doctorate degree from Lindenwood University, received a masters' from William Woods University, and a specialist degree from Missouri State University. In my free time, I enjoy attending church, watching my kids participate in athletics, deer hunting, fishing, cruising the lake, attending sporting events, and spending time with our family.

    Email: ericwilken@willardschools.net  

    Phone: 417-742-2584

Dr. Josh Ladd, Assistant Superintendent of Academics

  • Dr. Josh Ladd

    Dr. Josh Ladd joined the Willard family in 2023. 

    I couldn’t be more excited to return to Willard and rejoin this amazing group of educators. I look forward to working together with our educators, students, and families to cultivate a culture of academic excellence and lifelong learning. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Education from Southwest Baptist University and my Masters in Education from William Woods. I received both my Educational Specialist and Doctor of Education degrees from Lindenwood University. I have over 20 years of experience in the field of education, starting at Humansville and Willard as an ELA teacher. In my first stint at Willard, I had the privilege of assisting in the development and implementation of the SUCCESS program. Most recently, I served as the Principal at Mount Vernon High School for the last seven years. My wife, Lisa is a Reading/ELA teacher at Mount Vernon Middle School. We have one daughter, Ellie, who is 10 years old. Family is my number one priority; it is the foundation that keeps me balanced. In my free time, I enjoy doing anything outdoors—hunting, fishing, you name it!

    Email:  joshladd@willardschools.net

    Phone: 417-742-2584

Cathy Shoup, Chief Operations Officer

  • Cathy Shoup

    Cathy Shoup joined the Willard Family in 2017.

    I grew up in Carthage, Illinois, where I graduated from Hancock Central High School. I hold a Specialist Degree in Education Administration, a Master's Degree in Athletic Administration, as well as a Master's Degree in Physical Education. Prior to coming to Willard five years ago, I was the Activities Director for Rolla Public Schools for nine years. Prior to that, I was a coach of multiple sports and physical education teacher at Buffalo High School for nine years. I am fortunate to have six nieces and nephews ranging from the ages of 18 months to 16 years old, which are the centerpieces of my life. In my free time I enjoy anything outdoors, spending time at the lake, and spending time with family and friends. I’m excited to continue to impact our Willard students alongside a dedicated staff. Every member of our Willard team plays a crucial role in supporting students in their educational success. I’m proud to lead an operations team that ensures the safety, well-being, and opportunity for students to learn each day.

    Email: cathyshoup@willardschools.net

    Phone: 417-742-2584

District Directors

  • District Office
  • District Support Services
  • Maintenance Office
  • Special Services
  • Special Services Office
  • Technology Building
  • Transportation Office
  • Willard High School
  • Willard Schools' District Office
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