Diane Thomas Buatte displayed her academic and leadership qualities throughout high school at SGHS. She was valedictorian of the Class of 1968, a member of National Honor Society, Student Council, Junior and Senior Plays, cheerleading, and volleyball. She was selected to attend Sophomore Pilgrimage, Girl’s State, FFA Chapter Sweetheart, and Homecoming Court.
She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communication Disorders in 1972 and a Master of Arts Degree in Communication Disorders in 1973 from Wichita State University. In the fall of 1973, she began work as a speech pathologist for the Springfield, MO school district. In 1979, she began teaching evening and summer classes at Southwest Missouri State University. She continued her education earning a Ph. D. in Early Childhood Development from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1985, while teaching part-time at MU. In 1986, she began the Early Childhood Education Program for the Springfield, MO school district and served as director until 2006. After retiring in 2006, Dr. Buatte began teaching and supervising student teachers for Missouri State University.
Dr. Diane Buatte was involved in education for over 40 years and spent her entire professional and personal life promoting children’s well-being. She has served in leadership roles in the statewide Parents as Teachers Program, the Community Partnership of the Ozarks, Early Care and Education Collaborative, Violence Free America, Crosslines, Uptown Kids Childcare Center, the Discovery Center, the Missouri Preschool Project, and Project Construct. Dr. Buatte served as a statewide trainer for Parents as Teachers and Project Construct, and volunteered her expertise at training workshops at the local and state levels.
Dr. Diane Thomas Buatte is the daughter of Loretta Thomas of Ste. Genevieve, and the late Raymond Thomas, former Ste. Genevieve R-II Superintendent. She lives in Nixa, Missouri, with her husband, Paul Buatte, also a former SGHS graduate and former SGHS teacher, coach, and athletic director. Her oldest daughter, Valory, is the daughter of Diane and the late Malory Kimmel, a SGHS graduate and member of the Wichita State University football team, who perished in the team’s tragic plane crash in 1970. Diane loves to spend time with her daughters, Valory and Victoria, their husbands, and her seven grandchildren.