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Springfield, MO

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2019 40 Under 40: Nichole Lemmon, 38

Director of Blended Learning, Springfield Public Schools

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Nichole Lemmon, director of blended learning at Springfield Public Schools, has dedicated her career to improving the way children learn.

Lemmon started at Central High School, teaching in a bathroom converted into a classroom. There, she developed the media program Central Intelligence. She also created the first online learning courses for SPS, now known as the Launch program, and has directed the Ignite initiative, providing students with digital tools, such as iPads and Chromebooks in the classroom.

As a child, Lemmon grew up in poverty with a working, single mother. Local agencies provided her with opportunities and a hand-up.

Lemmon was the first in her family to graduate college and went on to earn master’s and doctorate degrees.

What are you doing to make the Ozarks better? I am working to ensure all students to have access to technology, internet and high-quality online learning opportunities, no matter their ZIP code.

What is your best productivity hack? Never go to bed with a full inbox of emails.

What was your professional aha moment? It’s so important to have a mentor, especially if you’re a female leader.

What is your theme song? Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise.”

What’s your most treasured possession? My motto is: “Collect moments, not things.” I have nothing I couldn’t get rid of tomorrow.

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