Springfield Public Schools Superintendent Grenita Lathan announced a series of leadership changes as part of a restructuring effort at the district.
The reorganization takes effect July 1 and impacts 10 district employees, according to a news release. SPS spokesperson said six positions, including new executive directors of elementary, are being added.
“Growth has been a key theme at SPS since I joined the district in July. To achieve growth, we must objectively assess our strengths and identify areas for potential improvement,” Lathan said in the release. “While we celebrate the accomplishments SPS has achieved, we remain focused on stretching beyond our current capabilities to exceed the expectations of those we serve. The realignment of select departments and the outstanding professionals chosen to lead this work are key to our success.”
Oversight of K-12 schools is one of the focus areas.
Beth Engelhart, a 22-year public education veteran; Jason Steingraber, principal of Pershing K-8; and Cindy Webster, principal of Weaver Elementary, have been named executive directors of elementary, according to the release.
Michael Methvin, director of elementary learning for SPS, has been named to the new role of executive director of middle schools and K-8, and Sheila Wynn, director of secondary learning for SPS, was promoted to executive director of high school for the district.
Additionally, Ben Hackenwerth, an SPS employee since 2008 who most recently was executive director of learning supports and innovation, was named chief strategy and innovation officer and will serve on the superintendent’s cabinet. Crystal Magers will serve as the new executive director of academics after working as principal of Sherwood Elementary, according to the release.
Justin Herrell was named director of before- and after-school programming; Jill Palmer is taking on the principal role of the consolidated Westport K-8; and Ron Woodard will serve as the district’s director of wraparound services, leading the work to address financial hardship, mental health, hunger and hygiene.
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