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SPS names new leaders for 2023-2024


Springfield Public Schools announced on Wednesday the appointment of new leaders for the 2023-2024 school year, while also further aligning administrative positions to support two key governing priorities of the district’s strategic plan. Other staffing announcements include new principals and leaders who are filling current leadership vacancies.

The following leadership changes are structured to promote organizational efficiency and excellence:

Dean HolikDean Holik has been selected as director of information systems. He will replace Bruce Douglas, who was recently named chief information officer. Holik spent the last 16 years working in higher education; nine years at DeVry University as the learning management system solutions manager, preceded by seven years at Blackboard Inc. as a manager in the consulting department. Holik earned his bachelor's degree in technical management from DeVry University.




Shawna PriceShawna Price will be the new director of human resources - classified. Her work will enhance efficiencies in hiring and supporting classified employees such as secretaries, custodians and other support staff. She will serve alongside Dr. Liz Cooper, director of human resources - certificated. Price comes to SPS with 20 years of experience in management and human resources. She is currently a senior human resources consultant with Salo, a Korn Ferry Company. Price is a Certified Human Resources Professional, Certified Mental Health First Aider and has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Missouri Southern University.




Kevin CreightonKevin Creighton will be director of data analytics & accountability, filling a vacancy created earlier this year. Creighton comes to SPS from Republic R-III Schools where he worked for the past three years as principal at McCulloch Elementary. Prior to that, he worked as a K-8 principal in the Dent-Phelps R-III school district and as dean of the school of education at Missouri Boys State. Creighton holds a bachelor's degree in biology with an education certificate from Missouri S&T and a master's degree in educational administration from Southwest Baptist University. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in education leadership at Evangel University.




Jill PalmerDr. Jill Palmer will be the new assistant director of data analytics & accountability. Dr. Palmer is currently principal at Westport K-8 School. Prior to joining Westport, she worked in the district’s assessment, accountability and analytics department. She joined SPS in 2001 as a teacher at Kickapoo, later serving as assistant principal and coordinator of International Baccalaureate at Pipkin Middle School. Dr. Palmer completed her undergraduate work in education at Missouri State University and holds both a master’s degree in elementary and secondary administration and a specialist in school administration from William Woods University. She earned her doctorate in instructional leadership from Lindenwood University.



The following leadership changes are structured to ensure SPS is preparing success-ready students:

Jason SteingraberDr. Jason Steingraber will transition to the position of executive director of choice programs & summer learning. He currently serves as executive director - elementary. In his new role, Dr. Steingraber will continue to oversee early childhood centers and will add supervision of Phelps Center for Gifted Education. He has 25 years of experience with SPS, during which time he served as principal for a total of 15 years at three schools: Pershing K-8, Wilder Elementary and Bowerman Elementary. Dr. Steingraber completed his undergraduate and graduate work in communication disorders at Truman State University, additional graduate work in elementary education administration at Missouri State University, and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis at the University of Missouri.


Tom MastersonDr. Tom Masterson will be the new executive director - elementary. For the past year, he has served as director of elementary learning. Previously, he was principal of Jeffries Elementary for four years and also served as assistant to the principal at McGregor and Sherwood. He joined SPS in 2012 as a classroom teacher at McGregor, later serving as a building principal during Explore summer learning. Dr. Masterson completed both his bachelor's degree in elementary education and master's degree in educational administration at Missouri State University. He earned his doctorate in education from the University of Missouri-Columbia.



Jenny TalburtDr. Jenny Talburt has been named director of curriculum and instruction - K-5. She currently serves as coordinator of student assessment. Dr. Talburt’s previous experience includes 15 years as an SPS teacher and three years as a learning specialist. She holds both a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in special reading from Drury University. Dr. Talburt earned a doctorate in educational leadership in curriculum, instruction and assessment from Evangel University.



Wendy RobinsonWendy Robinson has been named director of curriculum and instruction - 6-12. She currently serves as secondary literacy coordinator. During her 19-year career in education, she has also served as an instructional coach and a secondary language arts instructor. She earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary English education from University of Missouri and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Lesley University.



Matt RosebroughMatt Rosebrough has been named director of assessment and intervention. He currently serves as elementary literacy coordinator. Rosebrough joined SPS in 2014 as a fifth-grade teacher at the Academy of Exploration. He also previously served as elementary social studies coordinator. Prior to joining SPS, he worked for 12 years at Willard Public Schools. Rosebrough completed his undergraduate work at Missouri Southern State College and Ozark Christian College. He earned a master's degree in education administration from William Woods University.



SPS is also pleased to announce the following new principals and leaders, who are filling current vacancies in the district:

Courtney EllisCourtney Ellis will be the new principal at Mann Elementary School. She replaces Dr. Shelly Worley who is retiring after a 24-year career in public education. Ellis is currently assistant principal at Reed Academy. Prior to accepting that position, she worked as a special education teacher at both Reed and Weaver Elementary. Ellis has a bachelor's degree in special education cross categorical K-12 from Missouri State University and a master's degree in educational leadership from Northwest Missouri State University.





Stephanie WaskoStephanie Wasko will be the new principal at Westport K-8 School. She has served in school leadership roles for the past 20 years. Currently, she is principal at Wichita North High School in Kansas. She also served 14 years as principal at Charles Curtis Middle School in Wichita. Wasko has a bachelor's degree in business education and computer studies and a master's degree in educational administration and supervision from Wichita State University.




Keith AdamsKeith Adams will be the new director of transportation, replacing Jonathan Shelden, who will become supervisor of safety and training. Adams is coming to SPS from Montana, where he currently serves as transportation director for Billings Public Schools. His previous experience includes working as transit supervisor for the City of Billings and in various roles in the passenger transportation industry. He has 10 years of experience in training and mentoring drivers to ensure safety and compliance.