Last edited 10:59 a.m., March 8, 2021
The Springfield Public Schools Board of Education unanimously voted on a historic selection for the district's next leader.
Grenita Lathan, who starts July 1, joins SPS from Houston Independent School District, where she's interim superintendent of the largest school district in Texas. She is the first woman and first Black superintendent in the district's history, said spokesperson Teresa Bledsoe.
“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," Lathan said in the release. "During my career, I have focused on improving academic outcomes for all students, and I believe great things are ahead for SPS."
Lathan was selected by the board from seven finalists and 40 applicants, Bledsoe said. Executive search firm GR Recruiting assisted in the search process.
"The nationwide search generated a high level of interest from many strong candidates, and the board used the feedback from more than 6,000 SPS constituents to evaluate each applicant," said Alina Lehnert, SPS board president, in the release. "We are in unanimous agreement that Dr. Lathan is the most qualified to lead our district."
Lathan will lead the SPS district with 23,500 students and nearly 4,000 employees, according to the release. At the Houston Independent School District, the seventh-largest district in the nation, she oversees 276 schools, 27,000 employees and 196,000 students.
At SPS, Lathan succeeds John Jungmann, who last year announced his retirement from the district after holding the top role since 2014.
Lathan's salary will be $300,000, Bledsoe said.
Mercy Springfield Communities is replacing its Mercy Clinic Family Medicine – South Creek building, located at 2711 S. Meadowbrook Ave., with a new building that is 1,500 square feet larger.