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SPS adds diversity officer

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Springfield Public Schools hired a Missouri State University executive as its first chief equity and diversity officer.

Yvania Garcia-Pusateri, who’s worked as executive director of multicultural programs at MSU for three years, is scheduled to start at SPS on Sept. 9, according to a news release.

"The leadership and expertise that she brings to this new role will be critical to building learning and working environments that are more inclusive for all, while also bridging the achievement gap for our under-resourced and under-represented students,” SPS Superintendent John Jungmann said in the release. “Yvania will have full support from our system as she leads this important work."

The hiring of Garcia-Pusateri is part of SPS’ strategic plan designed to identify and close gaps in academic achievement, learning support, graduation rates and discipline. SPS Board of Education documents indicate the salary range for the position is $96,720 to $133,821.

Garcia-Pusateri will focus on curriculum, culture, community engagement, student support and staff development, backed by a new 40-member community council on equity and diversity, according to the release. The board is co-chaired by MSU’s Wes Pratt and Jill Patterson, according to SPS.org.

"I am passionate about promoting a culture of care that enhances the personal and academic trajectory of students," Garcia-Pusateri said in the release.

For Springfield Business Journal’s 2019 Economic Outlook, Pratt said the local student population is made up of 26% “racial, ethnic diversity.” Pratt is MSU’s chief diversity officer.

Prior to joining MSU, Garcia-Pusateri worked as assistant director of diversity affairs and coordinator of diverse student development at Miami University in Ohio, according to the release.

At MSU, she earned $62,000 annually, according to the Missouri secretary of state 2017-18 Official Manual, the most recent available.

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Dr. Paul C. Collins

It seems our SPS has forgotten that the schools are the property of the citizens. Who came up with this expensive idea for a staff person to facilitate diversity? The way our teachers are trained, I believe they are capable of handling this task. This is an expensive staff person (salary is beyond the imagination of many working people). The salary is the tip of the iceberg. There will be office expenses, travel, and on and on and on.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019
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