SPS names new Executive Director of Secondary Learning

Springfield, Mo., Wednesday, July 15, 2020 – Springfield Public Schools is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Ron L. Woodard as executive director of secondary learning, effective August 1. Dr. Woodard, former Assistant Superintendent of Instruction for Maury County Public Schools in Tennessee, will oversee academics for all secondary learning, including the district’s five high schools, six middle schools, three K-8 schools and an intermediate school, as well as all athletic programming.

“Dr. Woodard brings a wealth of experience in effective district and secondary school leadership, as well as student-focused service,” said Dr. Nicole Holt, deputy superintendent of academics. “SPS looks forward to welcoming him and his family to our community and our academic team.”

Prior to his four years of leadership with Maury County Public Schools, Dr. Woodard spent 12 years as a building administrator and four years as a seventh grade science teacher with Metro Nashville Public Schools. His work with students includes service as Science Department sponsor; coach of wrestling, football and soccer; president of the Middle School Athletic Association; and program director for teen mentoring.

“It is truly a blessing and an honor to join a team of committed professionals who are so intentional and passionate about helping children succeed,” said Dr. Woodard.

Among the many highlights of his professional career, Dr. Woodard’s leadership contributed to a dramatic turnaround for Maplewood High School and Apollo Middle School in Nashville, both of which moved into improving/satisfactory status under No Child Left Behind. In 2016, Dr. Woodard received national honors as an “American Graduate Champion” for his work with dropout prevention and for substantially improving the graduation rate (https://youtu.be/UaR1csoqVqY). Dr. Woodard has also served as a community advocate for youth and teen violence prevention and is a respected trainer and national presenter on a wide-variety of academic topics including teacher efficacy and quality, school climate and culture building, memory and retention studies, and brain-based research.

“We are so pleased to welcome Dr. Woodard to SPS and to Springfield,” said Dr. John Jungmann, superintendent. “Our future is bright and we are eager to achieve progress together on behalf of all students. Dr. Woodard’s leadership will be key in this critically important work.”

Dr. Woodard completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, graduate work at Tennessee State University and a doctoral degree from Lipscomb University. His dissertation focused on examining the self-efficacy of high-poverty, first-generation college students and the importance of mentors in achieving post-secondary access.

Dr. Woodard has two sons who will be attending SPS in the fall and his wife, Cicely Woodard, will be teaching in SPS.