SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -

The Springfield School Board on March 3 will introduce the community to its finalist for the superintendent's position, whom it intends to hire if his visit to Springfield goes well.  John Jungmann is superintendent of the Liberty School District in Clay County near Kansas City. 

Jungmann would replace Superintendent Norm Ridder, who announced last summer that he intends to retire from his position in June.  This is Ridder's ninth year as leader of the district.

The school board plans several community meetings for that day to let school district employees, business and civic leaders and community members meet Jungmann.  A schedule of these events will be announced next week.

As a native of southwest Missouri, Jungmann is excited to return to this area with his wife, Kerry, and their three daughters, Halle, 12; Macie, 9; and Jolie, 2.

Prior to serving in Liberty, a district of 11,500 students, Jungmann was superintendent of the Monett School District for four years.

"We are eager for the Springfield community to meet Dr. Jungmann and see for themselves his engaging personality and strong visionary leadership," said school board president Kris Callen.  "Following his visit, we anticipate finalizing an employment offer and contract with an anticipated start date of July 1."

"We are excited about the skill set Dr. Jungmann brings to our district and we look forward to working with him as SPS moves forward in our commitment to provide personalized learning for all students," said Callen. "His statewide reputation and influence as a respected educational leader will support us in our pursuit of that goal."

The board noted these strengths and accomplishments of Jungmann:

  • Models lifelong learning and professionalism, promotes risk-taking and cultivates innovation;
  • Is a student-focused, visionary leader;
  • Implemented one-to-one technology initiatives in both Liberty and Monett;
  • Created and implemented a facility master plan which reduced the square-footage required per learner, creating innovative and cost-effective 21st Century learning environments;
  • Has experience in effectively serving diverse student populations
  • Possesses the identified leadership trait of "Maximizer," which enables him to take something good and make it great.

In November, the Board of Education hired McPherson and Jacobson to assist in the superintendent search.  McPherson and Jacobson met with the board and also conducted numerous stakeholder meetings and a community survey to determine the qualities and characteristics most desired in the new superintendent.

The individuals who were interviewed for the position, in consideration of the criteria, were selected from 13 completed applications.  On Feb. 5, the board met to review applications and identified quarterfinalists to participate in online interviews on Feb. 11-12.  The board then narrowed the pool to semifinalists and interviewed them Feb. 16-17.