Welcome to Nixa High School

New teachers join this year’s staff.


Carlie Peters

Taylor Brown’s photo was provided by Taylor Brown. Three photos of the teachers featured in this story. Buffington (left), Brown (middle), Baldwin (right)

Carlie Peters, Website Editor

  Summer came to a close and the new season began. The weather started to change from heat to rain, and the leaves will soon change into the cozy colors of fall. The bell rang as students flooded the hallways of Nixa Highschool. The hallways were filled with chatter, greetings, and stories of the summer. The teachers prepared for the new year. New faces organized their classrooms as the students took their seats. 

   Math teacher Paige Buffington has been teaching for five years, and moved to the area over the summer with her husband.

   “I was teaching in Marshfield, which was very far away, so I knew that I wanted to switch schools eventually,” Buffington said. “I saw the Nixa opening and I thought I’d try, and I got the job. It’s a really great school district. It was a really great opportunity. I couldn’t really pass it up.”

   Buffington teaches Algebra 1 A and  Geometry Concepts. She was drawn to this school by it’s positive reputation in the area.

   “I know that they’re really good at holding their kids accountable for their learning,” Buffington said. “I mean that’s why they have really good test scores. They’re the top school in the area. It’s just a really good environment and place to teach. I’ve heard really good things from all the teachers I’ve known from Nixa.”

   Nixa High School’s expectations for teachers are different from Marshfield’s.

   “It is such a good school district,” Buffington said. “I think every teacher would be nervous upholding Nixa’s expectations, and getting good test scores. I mean that always makes you a little nervous your first year — making sure you’re the kind of person they want to employ.”

   Buffington said that her team has been very supportive. She’s excited to go to the football games.  

   “I haven’t gone to one yet because we just moved, but I was never really able to go to many football games at Marshfield because it was a 40 minute drive for me,” Buffington said. “So, it’s much closer now that I’ve moved, and so, I’m excited to get to go to games and support the team.”

   Taylor Brown is also new to Nixa. She teaches English I and III. She and her husband moved here from Arizona. Her husband is originally from Missouri, so they decided to move back. Like Buffington, Brown was also drawn to Nixa’s expectations. She was also drawn to the school and the area by the community.

   “I was really drawn to Nixa because they have high expectations for the students and the staff members,” Mrs. Brown said. “I have just heard from family and community members that Nixa is a very tight-knit community. … I’m excited to be more involved with the  school and community, and go to as many extracurricular activities as I can to support my students.”

   The southwest Missouri’s winter is new to Brown, so the new climate makes her nervous.

   “Being from Arizona, it’s sunny year round, so I haven’t lived in snow since I was very young,” she said.

   Dustin Baldwin is a new coach and teachesovernment, and world history classes. He currently lives in Republic and saw working at Nixa as a good opportunity for his family. He has two daughters who currently go to school in Republic.

   “I had some other great opportunities in the spring,” Baldwin said. “For me, geographically, it was closer to my house. Being a part of the football staff with coach Perry and the teaching staff as well; it was a good opportunity for me and my family.”

   This is Baldwin’s first year back in the classroom after 13 years teaching weights. 

   “Getting back into teaching history, and getting to interact with students in the classroom on a day-to-day basis is exciting,” Coach Baldwin said. “You kind of miss that in the weight room.”

    The History department has helped him get caught up to speed with what they’re doing as a department. 

   “I’ve already made some great friendships both within the school faculty and the football coaching staff,” Baldwin said.