• Dr. Josh Chastain, Superintendent
    Dr. Josh Chastain became superintendent of Harrisonville Schools in July 2023.

    Prior to coming to Harrisonville, Dr. Chastain served as the Executive Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment and the Federal Programs Director in the Nixa School District for four years, but served as a district level administrator in Nixa for seven years. He also served as school principal for the preceding eight years. His administrative positions include the Executive Director of Digital and Professional Learning and the principal at John Thomas School of Discovery, Summit Intermediate, and Main Street School. He started his career as a second and third grade teacher in the Springfield School District. While in the Springfield School District, he also served as an Education Technology Specialist.

    Dr. Chastain earned his Bachelor of Science in Education and his Master’s in Education Administration from Missouri State University. He earned his Specialist and Doctorate in Educational Leadership from St. Louis University. He also served as an adjunct professor for Southwest Baptist University.

    He is a member of American Association of School Administrators and served as a member of the Missouri State University Elementary Education Advisory board. He was the vice president of the Southwest Curriculum Directors Association.

    Dr. Chastain is married to Jennifer and they have three daughters, Aubrey, Catie, and Ashley.


    Dr. Joe Parkhurst, Assistant Superintendent Human Resources & Operations
    Dr. Joseph Parkhurst is a dedicated educator and leader with a rich history of service in Missouri’s education system. His journey began in 2011 when he joined the Sherwood School District as a social studies teacher and a three-sport coach, where he honed his passion for education and coaching.

    In 2013, Dr. Parkhurst transitioned to the Belton School District, continuing to excel in his role as a teacher while nurturing his commitment to student success. His dedication to education and leadership abilities led him to a pivotal role as the activities director for the Holden School District, where he achieved remarkable results, increasing participation in all activities by an impressive 30%.

    As he continued to grow in educational leadership, Dr. Parkhurst assumed the role of assistant principal at Holden, where he played a vital part in shaping the school’s educational landscape. He collaborated with staff on Professional Learning Community (PLC) development, guided the transition to standards-based grading, and seamlessly integrated 1-1 technology for students.

    In 2020, Dr. Parkhurst’s journey reached a new milestone as he became the high school principal at Holden High School. Under his leadership, the school continued to thrive, with a focus on standards-based grading, the development of career and technical education programs, advanced district therapy initiatives, and an impressive 93% teacher retention rate. His exemplary leadership was recognized when he received the prestigious title of “New Principal of the Year” in 2021 and was a finalist of “Principal of the Year” in 2022.

    Dr. Parkhurst’s dedication to education extends beyond the school walls. He has been a respected presenter at MoASSP and DCI conferences, where he shared insights on grading practices and culture development. Additionally, he served as the 2022 Missouri Central Region Legislative Liaison, advocating for educational excellence and innovation.

    Education is a cornerstone of Dr. Parkhurst’s life. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Avila University and furthered his educational journey by obtaining a master’s of education degree from William Woods University. In 2020, he proudly graduated from Baker University with a Doctor of Education in educational leadership.

    In addition to his educational pursuits, Dr. Parkhurst actively engages in various community organizations and associations, including MoASPA, the Harrisonville Enhanced Enterprise Zoning Board, Masonic Lodge #480, Harrisonville Lions Club, Knights of Columbus, and the Harrisonville Bright Futures Board.

    Dr. Parkhurst’s commitment to education is matched by his love for his community. Raised in Pleasant Hill, Missouri, he has deep roots in Cass County. He and his wife Kristine, a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, are proud parents of twins, Jaxon and Finnegan. Together, they are thrilled to be a part of the vibrant Harrisonville community.


    Annie Knox, Assistant Superintendent of Academic & Student Services
    In her current role for the Harrisonville School District, Mrs. Annie Knox plays a pivotal role in leading and overseeing all aspects of academic and student services. Her unwavering dedication to inclusive education and student success has significantly contributed to the enhancement of support systems for students with diverse needs.

    Mrs. Knox’s career in education began as a dedicated special education teacher at Harrisonville Elementary School, where her passion for inclusive education and commitment to supporting students with special needs became evident.

    Her experience in leadership began with her tenure as an elementary school sssistant principal within the Clinton School District, where she gained valuable insights into school administration and contributed to the development of a positive and conducive learning environment.

    Mrs. Knox’s journey in educational leadership continued as the process coordinator at the Harrisonville School District. In this capacity, she played a crucial role in streamlining educational processes, ensuring efficient operations, and optimizing resources for the benefit of students.

    Prior to returning to Harrisonville, Mrs. Knox held the position of program coordinator in the Lee’s Summit School District. During this tenure, she demonstrated her commitment to educational excellence by collaborating closely with educators, administrators, and community stakeholders to develop and implement effective educational programs.

    Mrs. Knox’s educational journey is marked by a commitment to continuous growth. She is currently pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from Saint Louis University. Her pervious academic achievements include earning a Specialist in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Missouri in 2022, a Master of Science in Elementary Administration from the same institution in 2010, and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary and Middle School Education from Southwest Baptist University in 2007.

    Throughout her career, Mrs. Knox has garnered extensive experiences in all facets of education, with a particular focus on special education. Notably, she has consistently achieved a high staff retention rate in her special education teams, reflecting her exceptional leadership skills and ability to foster a positive work environment. She is also credited with the creation of school-based therapy programs, showcasing her innovative approach to student support. Mrs. Knox’s dedication to professional development is evident through her frequent leadership in training sessions for staff within and beyond the Harrisonville School District.

    In her personal life, Mrs. Annie Knox is happily married to RJ, and together, they are proud parents of two children, Addie and Henry.

    Mrs. Knox is an active member of various esteemed educational and community organizations, including MoCase, CEC, and the Harrisonville Rotary Club. Her active involvement in these organizations reflects her commitment to both the field of education and community service, underlining her dedication to making a positive impact on students’ lives and the broader community.