Join us for our March General Council Meeting
held at Glendale High School.
We will be hosting a question & answer forum for the
three candidates running for School Board in the April 2, 2019 election.
Dr. Shurita Thomas-Tate; Dr. Charles Taylor; and Dr. Alina Lehnert,
have all agreed to attend.
See below for background on each of the candidates.
There will be two open School Board seats on the April ballot.
All positions are at-large, and the two candidates with the most votes will be sworn in.
The seven-member governing body sets policy, approves an annual budget,
employs and evaluates the superintendent, and
charts a course for the future of the district.
We hope to see you there!
School Board Candidate Background Information
Dr. Shurita Thomas-Tate , PhD, has 20+ years of educational and community leadership. Her professional experience includes working as an early intervention and K-12 speech-language pathologist, a community-based teacher consultant, a post-doctoral research fellow, and a university professor. She has worked with families, teachers, administrators, and educational policy makers in school districts across the nation sharing her expertise on language, literacy and the achievement gap.
During her almost eight years in Springfield, Shurita has proven to be a community leader. Committed to students and education, she has worked with many youth organizations serving as a mentor and advocate. In 2014, she developed and established Ujima Language and Literacy, a community-based model and program designed to educate, connect, and empower children and families.
Dr. Charles Taylor, PhD, Charles Taylor was first elected to the SPS Board of Education in April 2016 and serves presently as the SPS representative on the Missouri School Boards Association’s Board of Directors. He is the proud husband of an SPS teacher and parent of a former SPS teacher (now in graduate school in Germany) and is the property of a self-absorbed cat, Cicero. He served as a member of the Eugene Field and Wanda Gray PTAs and as President of the Kickapoo Instrumental Music Booster Club.
He is a Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Communication at Drury University. In that role, he directs the MA in Communication and Master of Nonprofit and Civic Leadership programs. He serves also as Drury’s NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative. A Drury faculty member since 1997, he served as Vice-President for Academic Affairs from 2003-2013. Prior to coming to Drury, he was Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Communication at Indiana University-Bloomington. He received his Ph. D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Dr. Alina Lehnert, PhD, is a Leadership and Strengths Development expert. She has spent two decades studying human behavior, talent and leadership. She uses her deep understanding of these concepts to help individuals, organizations and communities become stronger leaders, employees and citizens. Alina has been honored by the Springfield Business Journal as a Most Influential Woman recipient (2014) and a 40 under 40 Finalist (2009) for her professional and civic achievements. “During my tenure as Board President of Leadership Springfield, I had the opportunity to be instrumental in creating the partnership with Springfield Public Schools to develop, pilot and approve a “Principals of Leadership” program that takes area principals (elementary, middle and high school) through a very similar community learning experience as the traditional Leadership Springfield Signature Program. In recent years, I’ve facilitated SPS district professional development with administrators, principals, and teachers. I’ve witnessed first-hand how hard they are working, the strengths and challenges of a rapidly changing district from the organizational dynamics to meeting the demands of individualized student learning, and have found myself asking: “How can I help?” Over the last few years, I have just felt drawn to the school board. I had the opportunity to facilitate leadership development with all the GOCAPS students this year. I also worked with the three teachers on curriculum development.”