Springfield Public Schools names three principals, new director of health services

Lee Ann Neill

Lee Ann Neill

Springfield Public Schools announced Friday that Lee Ann Neill will succeed the retiring Jean Grabeel as the district’s new director of health services.

Neill is a veteran in the district, working 19 years as a school nurse and the last eight as coordinator for health services.

“I am thankful for this opportunity to continue working with a wonderful group of school nurses to offer quality services to the district’s students and staff,” said Neill, in a news release. “It has been my privilege to learn from Jean Grabeel. Continuity within the district’s health services department is beneficial for all those we serve.”

Grabeel will retire this summer after 30 years in the district.

Neill is an active member of Missouri Association of School Nurses and the National Association of School Nurses, and has served on the boards for both groups.

Her undergraduate work in management and organizational communication was done at Missouri State University. Her undergraduate and graduate work in nursing was at the Loyola University. She will complete her doctor of nursing practice degree from Loyola later this year.

The district also named three new principals Friday.

Jeffries Elementary

Sabrina Francis, principal of Hubble Elementary in Marshfield, has been named the new principal of Jeffries Elementary.

Sabrina Francis

Sabrina Francis

“I am happy to be welcomed as part of the Jeffries family and community,” said Francis, in the release. “I am eager to join in on the great things that are happening on behalf of students.”

Francis will replace Tom Masterson, who was named director of elementary for the next year.

She has spent three years in leadership in Marshfield schools, where she implemented student interventions and worked to develop leaders.

More: Springfield names new principals for seven schools

Previously, she spent 11 years as an elementary teacher and curriculum coach in the Fair Grove district.

She completed her undergraduate education at Missouri State University, graduate work at William Woods University, and is pursuing a doctorate in education leadership, curriculum and instruction at Evangel University.

Sherwood Elementary

Julie Routh, a learning coach at Twain Elementary, is the new principal of Sherwood Elementary.

Julie Routh

Julie Routh

In that role, she supports instructional programming by facilitating the Teacher Support Team, administers developmental assessments and provides targeted instruction.

Routh will replace Crystal Magers, who will serve as the district’s new executive director of academics.

“I am honored for the opportunity to be the next leader at Sherwood,” said Routh, in the release. “I look forward to working with the staff, families, and community to continue the growth and success of our students.”

More: SPS superintendent announces 10 leadership changes for next school year

Routh spent nine years teaching second grade and fifth grade in the Humansville and Bolivar districts.

Prior to joining Springfield, she was a principal and assistant principal in Bolivar for 10 years.

She completed bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctorate work at Southwest Baptist University.

Virtual learning

Helen Williams, who has spent two years as assistant principal for virtual learning in the district, will oversee elementary virtual learning for Launch, the district’s virtual learning platform.

Launch provides virtual curriculum for Springfield and more than 360 partner districts in Missouri.

Helen Williams

Helen Williams

“I’m grateful to work with an amazing team at Launch, including our awesome full-time teachers working across the district,” said Williams, in the release. “We’ve accomplished so much since our full-time virtual elementary program started two years ago and we have exciting new opportunities coming for SPS students.”

Williams was previously assistant principal of McCulloch Elementary in Republic for two years and as building principal of Explore’s Artworks summer program.

More: SPS announces four leadership changes for upcoming year

She also spent 12 years as a kindergarten and first grade teacher in Springfield, at Rountree Elementary.

Williams completed undergraduate work in human development and family studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia and in early childhood education at Missouri State University.

She completed graduate work and a specialist degree in education administration from Williams Woods University.

The appointments are not official until they have been approved by the school board.

Claudette Riley is the education reporter for the News-Leader. Email news tips to [email protected]

This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: SPS names three principals, new director of health services

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