LINCOLN–(KFOR Jan. 16)–Two associate superintendents of Lincoln Public Schools plan to retire at the end of the 2023-24 school year, according to a release from LPS to KFOR News on Tuesday.
Associate Superintendent for Educational Services Matt Larson and Associate Superintendent for Civic Engagement John Neal will retire at the end of the school year. Both Northeast High School graduates have had a long and storied career at Lincoln Public Schools.
Larson started his LPS career in 1987, as a math teacher at Lincoln High, serving at the school’s math department chair and became one of LPS’ first instructional coordinators before serving as the district’s K-12 math curriculum specialist from 1995 to 2018. Larson is nationally know for co-authoring multiple math textbooks, professional books and journal articles in math education, along with speaking at conferences.
Larson assumed the role of associate superintendent for instruction on an interim basis in 2018 before assuming the job permanently in January 2019, where he oversaw assessment and evaluation among other services. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, Larson worked with instructional directors to develop remote learning during the shutdown and remote and hybrid learning the following school year.
Neal started his LPS career in 1981, as an assistant swimming coach at Northeast, then as a gifted mentor in 1982 before taking a job with Millard Public Schools as an English teacher and coach. He then served as an assistant principal in Council Bluffs, Iowa before coming to LPS as the principal at Mickle Middle School in 2002. During Neal’s time at Mickle, he worked with the staff to earn the first regional accreditation for a middle school in LPS history.
In 2008, Neal became the district’s first Director of Secondary Education where he oversaw middle and high schools and the focus programs. At the time there were four focus programs – Science Focus Program, Arts and Humanities Focus Program, Information and Technology Focus Program and Entrepreneurial Focus Program.
A new position was created in 2012 and Neal was selected to serve LPS as the Assistant to the Superintendent for Governmental Relations and General Administration. Neal served as the official liaison between the school district and other elected officials and government entities. As one of his duties, Neal served as the district’s lobbyist and was instrumental in the development of The Career Academy – a partnership for LPS to earn dual credit with Southeast Community College.
Neal also collaborated with others to build the Safe and Successful Kids Interlocal agreement, and to implement the Eagle Feather Project for Native American graduating seniors. Neal oversees Athletics, Communications, Community Learning Centers, TeamMates and Wellness.
Larson and Neal’s official last day will be June 30, 2024.