Springfield Public Schools announces new superintendent

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- Springfield Public Schools has named the new superintendent for the district.

According to a press release, the new superintendent is Dr. Grenita Lathan. SPS says Lathan comes from the Houston Independent School District, the seventh-largest school district in the nation and the largest school district in Texas.

Lathan is the first woman and person of color to serve as the superintendent for Springfield Public Schools.

“It is a weight to carry because people are looking to me to do great things and I will do my best to deliver,” said Lathan. “It’s like wow, 2021, to be the first in both areas is still just unbelievable but I’m excited to be able to have this opportunity so that others can see they, too, can rise and have access to be the first in many positions of leadership. I’m ready to do the work, the work with our teachers and principals, but also the work with our students and our parents.”

Lathan will start at SPS on July 1, following the pending retirement of Dr. John Jungmann.

“Dr. Lathan’s 30-year career in education demonstrates a proven track record of enhancing public education with an unwavering commitment to all students and educators,” said Dr. Alina Lehnert, president of the SPS Board of Education.

Dr. Lathan background:

Dr. Lathan joined HISD in 2015 as Chief School Officer for Elementary Transformation Schools, later transitioning to Chief Academic Officer before serving as the district’s Interim Superintendent. Dr. Lathan’s other leadership experience includes five years as Superintendent of Peoria Public Schools in Illinois, as well as two years with the San Diego Unified School District in California as Chief Elementary School Improvement Officer and Interim Deputy Superintendent. Her career in education began as a high school teacher in North Carolina, where she later served as principal.

Springfield Public Schools

“I am honored to join Springfield Public Schools and work with the incredible SPS team to build upon the success of Missouri’s largest school district,” said Dr. Lathan. “During my career, I have focused on improving academic outcomes for all students, and I believe great things are ahead for SPS. I will be visiting Springfield this spring to introduce myself and meet the wonderful people who call this special place home. I look forward to being an active part of this community.”

Until she starts in July, Dr. Lathan will participate in a series of virtual meetings to introduce herself and share more about her background and approach to leadership. Later in the spring, she will visit Springfield, and in-person engagements will be scheduled, the press release states.

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