Monday night the Picher-Cardin School Board announced the addition of Steve Buckingham as the district's new high school principal.

Buckingham has served as high school principal at McDonald County High School in Anderson, Mo., for the past nine years. He is bringing 31 years of education experience to the Picher-Cardin School district.

Buckingham said he decided to apply for the position after making the decision to retire from the Missouri education system and move his career back to his home state.

“I grew up in Tulsa, played basketball for Tulsa University, so Oklahoma is my home, Buckingham said. “I was the head boys basketball coach at Ketchum during the 1982-83 school year.

In Missouri, Buckingham served as teacher and coach for 16 years before venturing into the administrative duties.

“I think that's why I am looking forward to this new position, Buckingham said. “With the influx of students here, I have lost touch with the kids because of my administrative duties.

In May, school board members announced that Don Barr, a Grove administrator, would be assuming the role of Superintendent at Picher-Cardin Schools as of July 1.

The assignments of both men became necessary after long-time district superintendent Bob Walker submitted his resignation.

Buckingham said he hopes to create a very positive environment for the students and the community.

“I want to get to know everyone of those kids on a personal level, Buckingham said. “My door will always be open and I want an open line of communication.

The McDonald County district is, according to Buckingham, a very low social and economical district and he feels his experience there is an advantage in making a positive situation for the students and parents at Picher-Cardin Schools.

“My number one concern is the students, Buckingham said. “I will do everything I can to make this a positive situation for them and the parents.

Buckingham will complete his administrative duties in Missouri following summer school in July. He will then begin his assignment in Picher.