Springfield, MO

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SPS makes director-level hire

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Last edited 1:19 p.m., Feb. 28, 2020

Springfield Public Schools went with an outside hire for a director role that’s slated to open up this summer.

Brenda Dennis, who’s currently assistant principal of Emporia High School in Emporia, Kansas, is scheduled to take on the SPS role of director of the Study Alternative Center, effective July 1. She succeeds the retiring Justin Dickenson, according to a news release.

"Ms. Dennis' experience with trauma-informed care, career and technical education, restorative practices, social-emotional learning and data-driven leadership make her exceptionally well-prepared for this opportunity,” said Shane Dublin, SPS executive director of secondary learning, in the release.

At 2343 W. Olive St., the Study Alternative Center helps students across the district who have learning needs or who have been expelled or suspended, Dickenson said.

Dennis steps into the role during a period of change for Study Alternative Center.

Stephen Hall, chief communications officer for SPS, said elementary children are transitioning out of Study, which will focus solely on high school students. He said the younger students exiting Study still would be provided services at the district’s elementary schools.

Hall said Study has around 120 high school students, noting the transition would allow for 50-60 more. The changes came about after stakeholders, including teachers, met to make the recommendations, he said.


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