Dr. Grenita Lathan, SPS superintendent, speaks at the Springfield Public Schools all-staff back to school rally at Great Southern Bank Arena on the campus of MSU. (Photo by Jym Wilson)

Grenita Lathan, Springfield Public Schools superintendent, received a contract extension following a Tuesday performance evaluation by the district’s school board. The seven-member board unanimously approved the extension. 

The evaluation was held in an executive session. A news release announcing the decision states that the board noted numerous qualities and accomplishments during the review period, including: 

  • An updated strategic plan for the district, which was led by Lathan and the board
  • Lathan’s knowledge and ability to “ensure the success of all students by acting with integrity and in an ethical manner”
  • Restructuring district leadership “to improve personnel and human resource allocation, including assignments to support school leaders and their teams”
  • Developing communication structures and protocols for both internal and external stakeholders that the board described as effective and consistent

“The Board of Education is confident that Dr. Lathan is the best leader for this district, at the right time in our journey, and we are extremely fortunate to benefit from her leadership,” Denise Fredrick, board president, said in a news release. “During her tenure, Dr. Lathan has worked with SPS staff, the board and our community to guide our district through challenging times. This includes efforts to emerge from a pandemic, keep students and staff as safe and healthy as possible, while remaining continually focused on outstanding academic opportunities for every child.

“Dr. Lathan maintains an open door policy, listens to many voices, and draws upon her vast educational background and experience before bringing forward recommendations,” Frederick continued. “The Board of Education will work with Dr. Lathan over the coming weeks to develop new goals aligned with our district’s strategic plan. We look forward to our continued partnership, which is key to the success of our district.”

SPS staff were notified of the contract extension at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Cory Matteson

Cory Matteson moved to Springfield in 2022 to join the team of Daily Citizen journalists and staff eager to launch a local news nonprofit. He returned to the Show-Me State nearly two decades after graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Prior to arriving in Springfield, he worked as a reporter at the Lincoln Journal Star and Casper Star-Tribune. More by Cory Matteson