Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

In 2017, Missouri State University received a three-year grant for Project HEAL (Help, Educate, Advocate, Listen) from the Office on Violence Against Women in the Department of Justice.

Project HEAL is a coordinated community approach to reduce sexual assault, dating or domestic violence, and stalking on the campuses of Missouri State and Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC).

Last year, the program was one of only 15 programs across the country to receive a continuation grant for another three years.

Paula Singervalt

A mystery that began with a man finding a high school class ring in an old locker at Drury University has been solved. 

Steve Miller works for Community Partnership of the Ozarks.  A few years ago, he was helping the nonprofit get ready for an indoor golf fundraiser at a warehouse on the Drury campus.  He was moving some old lockers.

"And I just heard that ching, ching, ching, ching, you know, and you think, 'what was that?  Money or, you know,' said Miller.  "So, I opened up the door, and this girl's class ring fell out of it."

Systemic racism: It’s even present in the way we gather data.

Dr. Kyler Sherman-Wilkins, assistant professor of sociology at Missouri State University, recently gained grant funding to incorporate anti-racism modules into his statistics and methods course. works to empower more people of color on the university’s campus and one step is incorporating anti-racism into the curriculum.

The grant funding will be used to assist with resource building and professional development.

Theresa Bettmann

High school students in Springfield Public Schools will go to class in person four days a week beginning February 1.

According to the district, high school classes will move to in-person for all students on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  Wednesday will still be a virtual learning day so facilities can be cleaned.  Currently half of SPS high school students attend on Monday and Tuesday and half on Thursday and Friday.

Ancient farmers, through trial and error, determined the best fit between a crop, the soil and weather conditions. They had plenty of land to choose from to find the perfect fields for their crops.

But as the availability of cultivable land diminishes and as climates change, our ability to grow enough food is becoming limited, too.

MSU Sugar Bears / Facebook

As the Missouri State University Sugar Bears get ready to celebrate their 45th anniversary in 2021, they’re also preparing for something else:  Induction into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

The Sugar Bears dance team is one of 21 inductees in the Class of 2021, and they’ll be honored at a ceremony on January 31 in Springfield.


Missouri State University students who live in on-campus housing are required to have a COVID-19 test or meet other criteria before they return from the holiday break.

If they don’t get a test at MSU, students must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken on or after January 6 or have proof of testing positive for COVID-19 after October 10 and have been released from isolation.

Students who live on campus who choose not to be tested and who don’t meet the other criteria must quarantine in on-campus quarantine housing for 10 days.

Missouri State University and Ozarks Technical Community College are expanding their health care programs.

The McQueary College of Health and Human Services at MSU celebrated an addition to the McQueary Health Sciences Hall Thursday.

The addition was funded by a donation from the McQueary family and others as well as nearly $3 million from the MoExcels Workforce Initiative.

The initiative will also fund new faculty and staff positions to prepare more health care professionals, according to a statement from MSU.

Drury University

A new executive conference center at Drury University will be named for a longtime employee.

Two Drury benefactors, John and Crystal Beuerlein, surprised Judy Thompson with the news on Thursday.

Thompson graduated from Drury in 1961 and taught high school before taking the job of director of alumni relations at Drury in 1974.  She was put in charge of development in 1976 and, in 1979, became the first woman to be Drury vice president.  She retired in 2002 but returned as vice president in 2016. 

Theresa Bettmann

As of Monday, November 30, Springfield Public Schools are following modified quarantine guidance issued by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

The guidance, for grades K-12, is a follow up to guidance issued recently by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, according to a news release from SPS.


It’s not yet known if the Springfield Public School District will follow new school guidelines on quarantine issued by the State of Missouri Thursday.

Governor Mike Parson and Missouri Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven said the new guidance will allow students exposed to COVID-19 in a student setting to remain in class as long as all parties were wearing face coverings—and wearing them correctly.


The search for a new superintendent for Springfield Public Schools is underway, and district officials want to know what you would like to see in a new leader. 

SPS is hosting a series of community input sessions this week, and there are in-person and virtual options.

Representatives from GR Recruiting, the search firm hired to lead the search, will facilitate the meetings.

Drury University

The first new academic building in 20 years at Drury University will be named after the O’Reilly family.

At a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday, Drury officials announced the building will be called the C.H. “Chub” O’Reilly Enterprise Center.  The O’Reilly family made a significant lead gift for the project.

The late Chub O’Reilly was the patriarch of the O’Reilly family and is a Drury alum.

Theresa Bettmann

Starting in November, students in grades K-8 who attend Springfield Public Schools will go to class in person four days a week.  Since the school year started, some students have gone to school on Monday and Tuesday and some have gone on Thursday and Friday.  High school students will continue to go in person only two days a week.

According to SPS in a statement, Wednesday will remain a virtual learning day so that schools can be cleaned.

KSMU file photo

With the General Election only a few weeks away, Making Democracy Work continues to focus on voter education and information.

This week, host HuePing Chin speaks with Dan Ponder, L.E. Meador Professor of Political Science and Director of the Meador Center for Politics and Citizenship at Drury University.