Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

As severe weather season heats up, local entities are teaming with Springfield Public Schools to equip every classroom in the district with emergency preparedness kits. KSMU’s Scott Harvey has more.

More than $45,000 was gifted to the Springfield Public Schools Emergency Preparedness Initiative on Thursday during the latest Good Morning, Springfield! session at the American Red Cross Southern Missouri regional headquarters.

For those who have been itching to get outside and take a walk, you're in luck:  Missouri State University's campus has just become the 35thsite of officially recognized walking trails in the Walk Springfield initiative.  A kickoff celebration took place Wednesday as part of National Walking Day. KSMU's Theresa Bettmann attended the ribbon cutting ceremony and has this report.

For the second year in a row, Missouri State University is being honored with the Tree Campus USA award.  As KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann reports, MSU is one of only five campuses throughout Missouri, and the only campus in Springfield to receive this award.   

At various times throughout the year, colleges and universities across the nation invite guest speakers to campus to address students, faculty and community members.

On Thursday night, former Secretary of State General Colin Powell addressed a large crowd inside JQH arena as part of Missouri State University’s Spring Public Affairs Convocation.

Dr. John Jungmann
Springfield Public Schools

By a unanimous vote Tuesday, the Springfield Board of Education has hired Dr. John Jungmann to lead the district.

Jungmann was the top finalist to succeed Dr. Norm Ridder, who is retiring this spring after nine years as superintendent. Jungmann, who now heads the Liberty School District near Kansas City, will begin his duties in Springfield on July 1.

The Board of Education is now in the process of negotiating the terms of Jungmann’s employment, including salary.

Community members on Monday met the top finalist for superintendent of Springfield Public Schools. As KSMU’s Scott Harvey reports, the meetings are a part of a broader listening tour that Dr. John Jungmann says he’ll conduct if selected to lead the district.

Dr. Jungmann was in town to address students, parents and community stakeholders, which came a day before the board considers a contract agreement. The new superintendent will succeed Dr. Norm Ridder, who is retiring.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

Missouri State University President Clif Smart says the school learned some things from an October case that prompted the lockdowns of some area schools and businesses.

That’s why during a vague threat on February 4, MSU made efforts to consistently update faculty, staff and students of the situation.

During public remarks Wednesday, Dr. Ruby Payne told a packed Hammons Hall audience that the Springfield community can be a model for assisting the less fortunate and minimizing the poverty level.  KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann attended the session and has this report.

Thirteen local organizations are coming together to bring Dr. Ruby Payne to Springfield to find new ways to overcome the growing issue of poverty in southwest Missouri. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann has more on the series of events, which are less than two weeks away. 

The issue of poverty is not new to Springfield. But some recent new data is glaring, such as the fact that nearly 60 percent of Springfield Public School students participate in the free and reduced lunch program.  

When it comes to asking for money, it’s about matching the interest of a donor to that of a program or proposal, says Clif Smart, president of Missouri State University.

The Missouri State University Foundation says it’s received over $8 million in gifts in recent months to support various student life initiatives, academic programs and athletics. KSMU's Scott Harvey has details.

During a press conference Wednesday morning, Vice President for Advancement Brent Dunn said the Foundation has raised $2.25 million for a new welcome center, currently referred to as the Student Admissions and Success Center, which will undergo construction sometime next semester.

KSMU Archives

Factoring in inflation, Missouri State University is $17 million behind in its operating budget since 2002, according to President Clif Smart.

Outlining the school’s priorities for the upcoming Missouri legislative session, Smart says that after years of declines in appropriations, MSU hopes to get a boost from the state for the second straight year.

Missouri State University President Clif Smart says passage of recent initiatives by both the Board of Governors and students show the institution’s inclusiveness and desire to support new school endeavors. 

With 80 percent of voters in favor of the measure, Missouri State University students have passed the Bear Experience and Recreation (B.E.A.R) fee. KSMU’s Scott Harvey has more.

For $50 per semester, the fee is designed to help provide new and renovated athletic and recreational facilities on the Springfield campus. A Friday afternoon news released says that more than 2,900 students said yes during an online vote from Oct. 14-18.

Missouri State University President Clif Smart will tell you that research is strong at the school, where undergraduate students are getting hands on experience in projects ranging from health to agriculture.

To better highlight those projects, MSU recently published Mind’s Eye. This 19-page compilation features, among others, work by Dr. Paul Durham, professor of cell biology and director of the Center for Biomedical and Life Sciences.