150 Years of Springfield Public Schools

Springfield Public Schools celebrates sesquicentennial.

Glendale High School staff

Glendale High School staff

Glendale High School staff

Bethany Gott, Reporter

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As the students flooded into the tall, brick building in 1893, excitement was prevalent for not only the first day of school but for the founding of what would become Missouri›s largest school district. Central High School was Springfield’s first official school built located in uptown Springfield.
  150 years later, Springfield Public School District is celebrating 150 years of SPS. August 14, SPS had a celebratory meeting that included a ceremony where they recognized teachers who have been with SPS  for more than 25 years. This  kick-off to the school year included a special speaker, guests performances by Disney Elementary and Cherokee Middle and prizes were handed out.
  The school district gave everyone of it’s staff specially designed t-shirts to commemorate the anniversary.
  Kim Hickory, Glendale math teacher, attended SPS from kindergarten all the way through high school.
  “I remember when I was in kindergarten, SPS just passed the rule that said girls were allowed to wear pants,” Hickory said. “That was a really big deal. Also, my first year of high school was the year SPS made conjoined P.E. classes. My friends and I were so nervous because we had never had P.E. with boys.”
  With firsts for Hickory and SPS, other trends started developing, including ones that SPS wasn’t fond of.
  “Pagers became a big thing for a while but SPS didn’t like them because that was how people did a lot of illegal activity,”Hickory said. ¨After that came the cell phone era. On the second floor, by the trophies, there used to be a payphone.”
Hickory has been with SPS for 32 years as a math teacher; four years at Pipkin, five years at Central, and 23 years at Glendale.
“I stay with SPS because it’s nice to work in town, be on the same schedule as my kids and SPS is the best paying school district in this area,” Hickory said. “SPS has gotten stricter as far as confidentiality. The nurse used to print off a long list of kids that had medical issues; now that’s illegal. Teachers can’t even know when one of their students gets in a fight.”
  Over the years, SPS has become more flexible with class options and different opportunities for students.
  “When I went to Glendale we didn’t have any math past trig and FACS used to be called Bachelor Living,” Hickory said.
  Jon Ewing, Glendale Vice Principal, has been with SPS for 27 years; 12 of the years being a math and science teacher at Kickapoo and the other 15 years as the assistant principal.
  “Mrs. Ewing and I raised our kids in this district and it really has always been a great district,” Ewing said. “I moved from Kickapoo to Glendale because it was a great opportunity to get into administration.
  Glendale was the fourth high school that was built in the SPS district. There are about 25,000 students in the district as of 2017.
  “The changes made within the school district typically occur with new leadership,” Ewing said. “I think things have always been great when it comes to that.”
  Just like every school district, Springfield Public Schools has a mission, vision, and goals. The SPS mission statement is to prepare all students for tomorrow by providing engaging, relevant and personalized educational experiences today. SPS vision is to serve as a catalyst for lifelong learning, equipping students for their futures. SPS goals focus on student success, learning support, empowered and effective teachers, leaders, support personnel, financial sustainability and operational efficiency.

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150 Years of Springfield Public Schools