Howell County News/ Amanda MendezHowell County News/ Amanda MendezHowell County News/ Amanda Mendez

Clean Slate

The reversal of most COVID restrictions may seem like a return to normal this year, but winds of change are at work in the Willow Springs R-IV school district. Every building on campus has new administrators this academic year. From the superintendent’s office to the elementary school, there are a total of eight people in new positions of leadership. Two new school board members (Jeffrey Cunningham and Jeff Lovan) were also elected in April.
Dr. Marty Spence is in the superintendent’s chair for the first time this year, and he says the fresh administration is “a great opportunity” for the district. Thanks to a recent administrators’ retreat, Spence is confident the six new principals are on the same page. 
Those goals are: Love, serve, and educate, he said.
“We want to see academic growth,” Spence told Howell County News. “We want it to be a place teachers love to work. For the kids, we want it to be a safe place for them to learn and grow.”
Concrete changes and projects this school year include the acquisition of the former MoDOT building, a more secure entryway into the high school, a new HVAC system in use in the middle school and high school, and the change in the central office location from Springfield Road to the main campus, and a reenergized football program under head coach Travis Payne. 
Josh Owens is the district’s first-ever career and technical education director. The hope is to offer the first CTE programs in August of 2023 in the newly acquired building. 
“There’s a lot of high energy,” at school so far this year, Spence shared. 
The administrators at the school district for the 2022-2023 school year are (administrators marked with a * are new in their position this year):
Dr. Marty Spence, superintendent of schools*
Robert James, athletic director
Chris Waggoner, curriculum director
Glen Moore, safety director and school resource officer
Marlenia Barker, special education director
Josh Owens, career and technical education director*
Andrew Coursen, information technology
High School
Nick Schmitt, high school principal*
Dustin Forrest, assistant high school principal*
Middle School
Dr. Jon Johnson, middle school principal*
Chris Cochran, assistant middle school principal*
Elementary School
Chris Rodgers, elementary school principal*
Logan Schwalm, assistant elementary school principal and transportation director*
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Howell County News

110 W. Main St.,
Willow Springs, MO 65793

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