Staton takes job at California R-1 Schools to heart

Photo submitted
California R-1 Activities Director Bob Staton, with wife Debbie at a school sporting event, takes great pride in his job, California R-1 Schools, and the community.

Photo submitted California R-1 Activities Director Bob Staton, with wife Debbie at a school sporting event, takes great pride in his job, California R-1 Schools, and the community.

By APRIL ARNETT

Democrat Staff

As California R-1 Schools Activities Director, Bob Staton couldn't be happier. When asked what it's like to be the activities director, Staton says he usually responds, "It's a great job, because it allows me to work with some of the greatest coaches, fans and students in the state. Throw in great support from the administration, the staff, and the Board of Education, and you have a great environment to work in."

Staton adds, "I get to watch some of the best athletes compete in middle school and high school athletics. Add to that the other activities I get to be involved with such as drama, vocal music, band, speech, academic contests, and FFA activities, and you might wonder why a person wouldn't actually pay the school to work in this position."

Staton retired from the Department of Conservation in March 2007 and began teaching seventh grade Science at California Middle School, finishing out the school year for a teacher who had left. He became the head football coach at CMS in the fall of the 2007-08 school year, as well as a CMS track coach, while substitute teaching as well.

He then taught freshman Physical Education at the high school in the 2008-09 school year and coached middle school football and track. In 2009-10, Staton was the CMS Athletic Director, while still coaching CMS football and track. He has been the California R-1 Activities Director since the start of the 2011-12 school year.

"I plan to serve in this position again next year and after that, Debbie and I will decide from year to year if we want to completely retire or keep working some," Staton said.

Debbie, Staton's wife of 33 years, is a retired teacher who currently substitutes and is also a track coach at CMS. She taught 14 years at Clarksburg School, and 13 years at California Elementary School.

"She is also my 'unpaid assistant'," Staton says with a grin.

Bob and Debbie have three children and seven grandchildren. Their oldest son Mike Staton, 41, owns Homeland Reality, California. He and his wife Robin have three daughters and two sons. Middle son Thad Holtsclaw, 38, works for the Missouri Department of Conservation, California. He and his wife Sara have a daughter and a son. Their youngest son David Staton, 30 and single, lives in Kansas City where he manages Lew's Restaurant and Bar.

"All of our boys graduated from California High School," Staton said.

Staton says much of his job requires organization. "The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA), which is the governing body for our middle school and high school interscholastic competitions, has many deadlines we must meet each season. With several hundred scheduled events, many of which require bus requests, officials, gate keepers, announcers, scoreboard and chain gang personnel, concessions, and making sure our schedules match our opponents' schedules, it requires a lot of effort and time. So being organized in this position is essential. Having the support of the school district staff is critical. Having a great local newspaper and radio station makes my job easier and really allows us to showcase the many talents of our students."

Staton says he's heard it's been said California is a tough place for athletics because of the interference from fans, parents, the school board, etc., to which he replies, "That's not what makes it tough, but rather what makes it special. The fans, including our Board of Education and other local officials and groups, are rabid fans and make finding support for our programs very easy."

Staton insists most California citizens know the names of the coaches of each athletic team, as well as the team's season record. "They can tell you who our best performers are in any activity. They can tell you about fundraisers and booster clubs and special moments they remember. They can tell you the parents' names of almost any given athlete or performer. Some are alumni and some are transplanted Pintos, but we are all Pintos."

He added, "It's an environment that has lofty expectations which makes us rise to the top. Expectations that don't just include wins and losses or high ratings, but also academic success and ethical, behavioral, and value-driven expectations. We have never settled for mediocrity, and always encourage and reward successes; both expected and unexpected. We celebrate success together and share the pain of defeat together. We try as a community to be the good example, not just for our children and grandchildren, but for others that might get the opportunity to visit us. We strive to provide our students with as many opportunities as possible to add to their total education through extracurricular activities.

Do we ever have problems? Of course; we are not perfect. Do we ever disagree? Sure, but we work it out. Sometimes we compromise and sometimes we take a stand, but we all give and take, and at the end of the day, we all stand together - Pinto strong."

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