Central Office

Central Office is located in the basement of the upper elementary building - Building D

Contact Information:

PO Box 550

Van Buren, MO 63965

Phone: (573) 323-4295 Fax: (573) 323-4537

Van Buren R-1 School District Superintendent

Dr. Clay LaRue

Phone: (573) 323-4295 Ext. 211

It’s been a pleasure to take over the position of Superintendent of schools for the Van Buren R-1 District the Summer of 2020. I’ve enjoyed meeting the staff, students, parents and community members. My upbringing is very similar to many of those in Van Buren so even after a few months of living here, it already feels like home.
I grew up in Viburnum, MO and graduated from Iron County C-4 School District. We spent summers on the Current River and I’ve always loved the area. Growing up, I enjoyed playing sports including baseball, cross country, basketball, and track. I’m a supporter of school athletics as I’ve personally experienced how it helps develop youth with many skills including leadership, teamwork, and commitment. My family is excited to watch and cheer on the Bulldog athletic teams!
I attended Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO for my undergraduate degree, where I met my wife, Tricia. I taught at Valley R-6 schools in Caledonia, MO for two years while I received my Masters of Education from William Woods University. I then returned to my alma mater to take over the role of Jr. and Sr. High School Principal at Iron County C-4. I continued my education by receiving a Doctorate in Education from Lindenwood University in December 2018.
During my 8 year tenure as Principal, Viburnum accomplished several successes including raising our APR by nearly 10 percentage points. The Viburnum Jr. & Sr. High School was also recognized by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as a PLC Exemplary School, a designation only given to 34 buildings in the state.
I firmly believe education must be intentional and data driven. My goal is that the Van Buren R-1 staff will work together to ensure our curriculum and programs reflect this philosophy. The second everyone in Van Buren can be the voice of the School District and bring value to our students in the learning process, the quicker we win. I also believe that all students are capable of learning and growing - and all means ALL.
I grew up in a family that prioritized hard work, faith and family which has helped shape me into the educational leader that I am today. I have served on several committees and boards including Missouri State Beta Council, Viburnum City Council, and SE MoDot Road Commision Board. I also grew up attending the First Baptist Church Viburnum, where I became a member with my wife. I strongly believe school leaders should take an active role in their communities.
My wife and I built a home in Van Buren and love the recreational activities that the area offers. In my spare time, I enjoy boating, hunting, fishing and grilling. We have two children who attend the Van Buren R-1 School District, Lane, who is in first grade, and Leighton, who attends the Early Learning Center. I am highly invested in the school and community, and want to see it succeed and prosper for generations to come.
Even with the uncertainty that COVID-19 has brought us, I believe that the Van Buren R-1 staff and community can come together to provide our students with a safe and welcoming learning environment where all students can be successful learners. I look forward to leading the district and for positive improvements to come!

Dr. Clay LaRue

Superintendent of Schools

Central Office Secretary

Marilyn Sanders


Superintendent Secretary

Cara Mann