Award Year: 2013

Bolivar High School

1401 N. Highway D
Bolivar, MO, 65613-8282

(417) 326-5228

David Geurin, Principal at time of Nomination

Bolivar R-I

School Website


The Bolivar R-1 School District, in partnership with the community, will ensure that every student is prepared for productive participation as a responsible citizen.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 2%
  • White: 89%
  • Hispanic: 3%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 3%
  • Asian: 1%
  • Native American: 2%
  • ELL: 1%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: %

Bolivar High School is located in Bolivar, Missouri. The town was named for Simón Bolivar, the South American political and military leader. On July 5, 1948, U.S. President Harry S. Truman and Venezuelan President Rómulo Gallegos visited the town to dedicate a statue of Simón Bolivar. Soon after the visit, BHS students voted to forfeit “Tigers” as the BHS mascot and adopt “Liberators” as the school’s namesake.

Nearly 10 years ago, BHS sent a group of teachers to visit Adlai Stevenson HS in Lincolnshire, Illinois to learn more about Professional Learning Communities (PLC). From this initiative, the school engaged in a comprehensive PLC certification process and developed a strong vision of improvement to ensure high expectations of achievement for all students.

As a result, the school has cultivated a culture of collaboration and a focus on results. Teachers collaborate weekly with the sole focus of improving student learning. Each content area has developed essential (priority) standards that align with the Missouri Core Academic Standards (MoCAS). Teachers utilize formative assessments and feedback to monitor student progress and guide instructional decisions. Students who are not proficient receive additional time and support until reaching mastery.

The unwavering focus on learning has resulted in increased student achievement. The successes have been a result of incredible commitment by talented teachers and staff, along with excellent parent and community support. Although nearly half of our students are economically disadvantaged, we send 70% of our students to 2-year or 4-year colleges/universities. Moreover, our free/reduced lunch population has performed extremely well on state tests as we strive to ensure that all students learn regardless of socio-economic status or any other factors.