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Dutcher attained a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Kentucky in 1864. He became the superintendent of schools at Kirksville in 1872, and one year later joined the Kirksville State Normal School faculty where he taught Latin and science. He later became known as the co-editor of the "American Journal of Education," which published in Cape Girardeau and St. Louis and concentrated on educational interests.
Dutcher had great influence in molding the character of the Normal School. His administration was distinguished by its drive to encourage participation in district school matters. He placed high priority on recruiting well-qualified, dedicated personnel and enlarging courses of study.
In 1878, Dutcher introduced grading standards that required an 80 percent average for promotion from class to class.
Dutcher was the last person to hold the title principal. Following his term, principals became known as presidents. Dutcher resigned his position at Southeast in 1880 and returned to Warrensburg to enter the banking business. He died Sept. 25, 1924, in Warrensburg.
This information is excerpted from the article "Past and Present Presidents" appearing in The Southeast Missourian on April 4, 1999.