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Administrative Team

Jill Mullen

Jill Mullen

Principal-Middle School

Mrs. Jill Mullen is in her sixteenth year as lead principal of SVMS, twenty-first year in Liberty, and twenty-fourth year in education. She started her teaching career in Liberty in the fall of 2000 as a sixth grade math teacher, and she taught math for four years at the middle level.  While teaching, Mrs. Mullen was also the Liberty High School Head Varsity Volleyball Coach for two years.   Her administrative career started at SVMS where she was the assistant principal during the 2004-2005 school year.

In 2005, Mrs. Mullen returned to her home state of Wisconsin where she served as an associate principal at Greendale Middle School in the Greendale School District in Greendale, Wisconsin, from 2005-2008.  She returned to the Liberty School District in August of 2008.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from The University of Iowa, a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Northwest Missouri State University, and a Specialist in Education Degree from Northwest Missouri State University in The Superintendency. When at the University of Iowa, Ms. Mullen was a 4-year letter winner with the University of Iowa Women’s Volleyball Team.

Mrs. Mullen has a passion for the middle level learner and has spent her entire career at the middle level.  She loves seeing the growth that students make socially, emotionally, and academically during this time frame.  She loves seeing students and teachers succeed in all that they do.  

Mrs. Mullen enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, and has been thrilled to see the love for learning in her own children.  In her free time, she likes to spend time with her family, watch her children participate in their after-school activities, exercise, watch sports of any kind, travel, and continue her own learning in the area of leadership and the middle school child.

Mrs. Weakley began her career at Liberty Public Schools in 1991.  She spent six years at LMS as a Math/CA/Social Studies teacher while coaching basketball at Liberty High School and volleyball at Liberty Junior High.  Mrs. Weakley also spent one year as a fifth grade teacher at Manor Hill Elementary.  She treasures her time as a teacher getting to know and work with so many quality teachers, administrators, students and parents in the Liberty community.

 “It has been so rewarding to grow myself in the community of Liberty.  I love seeing students that I had in class now as parents.”  

She spent two years teaching at her alma mater in Diamond, Missouri where she taught Junior High Communication Arts and coached HS basketball. 


Mrs. Weakley has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from UMKC in Elementary Education, and both a Masters Degree and Specialist Degree in Educational Administration from NWMSU.  She served as the Director of Summer School for six years before serving as an Assistant Principal at Alexander Doniphan for one year and Warren Hills Elementary for six years.  Returning to the middle level has been an exciting move.  “Working with the staff and students at South Valley is incredible. All staff are willing to jump in and do whatever needs done for student success.  It is inspiring to come to work with this group every day.  Middle level students are amazing!”


When not working Mrs. Weakley enjoys gardening, playing cards, traveling, and cooking.  She loves sports of all kinds and watching students compete and grow through athletics and other extracurricular activities.  “There are so many opportunities for students to get involved in their school community.  I highly recommend students participate in activities offered outside the regular school day as well.  Meet lots of people and make friends.”


Mrs. Weakley also enjoys spending time with her husband and three children.  Her husband Dan is retired from Missouri Public Education and currently works for the Kansas City Missouri School District  as the Chief Director of Operations.  

They have 3 kids Paige, Blake and Quinn.  

Whitney Weakley

Whitney Weakley

Dr. Joseph Lutes

Dr. Joseph Lutes

Dr. Joe Lutes is in his 19th year in education and 5th year as an assistant principal at South Valley! He is very excited to continue working with the families and staff of SVMS and excited about the new innovation instructional approaches coming this school year! Dr. Lutes has taught 7th grade social studies for the past 7 years at SVMS as well! Dr. Lutes started his career in the Fort Osage School District teaching 4th grade and middle school math and Algebra I. Dr. Lutes will have a teaching section in the morning and will work administrative duties in the rest of the day. He also is an assistant cross country coach for SVMS and runs the South Valley webpage. Additionally, Dr. Lutes has served as one of the middle school site directors for summer school the last 4 years. 

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Mizzou in Political Science (‘04), a Master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Central Missouri (‘09), an Educational Specialist degree in K-8 Administration from Northwest Missouri State University (‘11), and most recently a Doctorate in Educational Policy & Analysis from the University of Missouri (‘18). 

Dr. Lutes has found much enjoyment working with middle school students helping them to grow into their own during this fun age! He has been an integral part of the SVMS community helping develop our students in different capacities. Dr. Lutes has been a part of the South Valley Leadership Team, led the WIN Time initiative, been a part of our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion committee, served as the SVMS Professional Development chair, served as a Yearbook sponsor, served as a social studies curriculum representative in addition to other responsibilities.