Matt Hudson knew he wanted to be a teacher when he was still a student.
By age 24, he was an interim assistant principal at Hillcrest High School, and two years later moved to his alma mater, Parkview High School, where he stayed for eight years as an assistant principal. Hudson transitioned into district leadership with Springfield Public Schools before moving to Ozarks Technical Community College in 2015, where he’s now the executive dean of career, technical and community development.
“Leadership provides me an opportunity to give back by building the capacity of those individuals who work for and with me,” Hudson says. “An effective team is only as strong as its leader and must be collaborative. I have high expectations and a strong work ethic, which is something I give but also expect from others.”
Hudson strives to lead by example.
“I never assign a job or attempt something with my team that I would not also do myself,” he says.
In the past two years, Hudson and his team have been involved in several initiatives designed to prepare students for the workforce. They’ve launched an aviation program, expanded technical programs and relocated OTC’s agricultural program to a new Ozark facility, where it’s slated to begin this fall.
Hudson is also involved with the planned $20 million Center for Advanced Manufacturing set to open in 2022 as a regional hub for technology related education, training and development.
“It will create new jobs and provide opportunity for people to access advanced skill training, which leads to high demand, gold-collar jobs,” he says.
Marking moments big and small has been a highlight of Hudson’s 20 years as an educator, from student achievements to graduation ceremonies and ribbon cuttings.
“Leadership provides me an opportunity to celebrate the best moments and learn from the most difficult,” Hudson says. “Being a leader is not just for one person or one thing. It is realizing the collective commitment we share and being a part of something that is bigger than just me.”
Education is an equalizer that opens doors to opportunity and improves quality of life, Hudson says. To that end, he is passionate about his involvement in workforce development at OTC.
As a native Springfieldian, Hudson supports the community in many ways, including his former stomping ground of Parkview, where he was involved with the school’s 60th anniversary a few years ago and was instrumental in fundraising to establish a leadership scholarship.
“I am active and civically engaged, because I believe that is essential for leaders to be successful,” he says. “I serve on several boards, I am active in civic organizations, and I offer my time and commitment without hesitation. … I try to influence the success of others by operating from a basic premise: be kind, be passionate and recognize accomplishments.”
Whataburger launched its second local store; Branson shop Revive Juice and Coffee Bar LLC moved; and a new Monett branch of the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library District opened.