Springfield, MO— After conducting a nationwide search for its next superintendent, the Springfield Public Schools Board of Education has announced the unanimous selection of Dr. Grenita Lathan from Houston Independent School District (HISD), the seventh largest school district in the nation and largest school district in Texas. As the current Interim Superintendent for HISD, Dr. Lathan is responsible for oversight of 276 schools and 27,000 employees, serving 196,000 students. She will begin her tenure with SPS on July 1, following the pending retirement of Dr. John Jungmann.
“Dr. Lathan’s 30-year career in education demonstrates a proven track record of enhancing public education with an unwavering commitment to all students and educators,” said Dr. Alina Lehnert, president of the SPS Board of Education. “The nationwide search generated a high level of interest from many strong candidates, and the Board used the feedback from more than 6,000 SPS constituents to evaluate each applicant
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. We are in unanimous agreement that Dr. Lathan is the most qualified to lead our district. We look forward to welcoming her to SPS and providing our full support.”
Dr. Lathan joined HISD in 2015 as Chief School Officer for Elementary Transformation Schools, later transitioning to Chief Academic Officer before serving as the district’s Interim Superintendent. Dr. Lathan’s other leadership experience includes five years as Superintendent of Peoria Public Schools in Illinois, as well as two years with the San Diego Unified School District in California as Chief Elementary School Improvement Officer and Interim Deputy Superintendent. Her career in education began as a high school teacher in North Carolina, where she later served as principal.
“I am honored to join Springfield Public Schools and work with the incredible SPS team to build upon the success of Missouri’s largest school district,” said Dr. Lathan. “During my career, I have focused on improving academic outcomes for all students, and I believe great things are ahead for SPS. I will be visiting Springfield this spring to introduce myself and meet the wonderful people who call this special place home. I look forward to being an active part of this community.”
About the Nationwide Search
The nationwide search for the next SPS superintendent was conducted by GR Recruiting, an executive search firm specializing in education. Prior to the search, GR Recruiting hosted a series of engagement meetings last fall, both in-person and virtually, to gather feedback from SPS constituents about the next superintendent. In addition, a survey was sent to SPS staff, parents and the community. More than 6,000 individuals participated in the feedback process, which guided the development of a candidate profile.
SPS will host a variety of opportunities to meet Dr. Lathan. Following Spring Break, Dr. Lathan will participate in a series of virtual meetings to introduce herself and share more about her background and approach to leadership. Later in the spring, she will visit Springfield and in-person engagements will be scheduled. Details will be provided in the coming weeks.