The iconic “Dr. K.” as he is known in Nixa has a new job.

Springfield Public Schools announced the hiring of Stephen Kleinsmith to the position of co-deputy superintendent, effective Aug. 1.

SPS also announced the hiring of former Willard Public Schools superintendent Kent Medlin, who will share responsibilities of overseeing elementary and secondary education, special education and support for students who are learning the English language with Kleinsmith.

Kleinsmith served 18 years with Nixa Public Schools and retired in 2018. He was named Superintendent of the Year by the Missouri Association of School Administrators in 2018. He previously worked as a school administrator in Nebraska and Iowa, and currently works as the Director of School and Community Partnerships at Missouri State University.

Kleinsmith has left his position at Missouri State.

Kleinsmith said the move to Springfield Public Schools is a temporary one.

“To be able to work for Springfield Public Schools in this capacity, even for just one school year, is truly an honor,” Kleinsmith said. “It is my plan to do my best at providing the leadership and service necessary to show continuous improvement in the areas of academics and life skills to the patrons of the Springfield community.”

Dr. John Jungmann, superintendent of Springfield Public Schools, explained that the search is ongoing for a permanent deputy superintendent. Kleinsmith and Medlin will share the duties of former Chief Learning Officer Mike Dawson, who retired.

“Springfield Public Schools is incredibly fortunate to have these two exceptional leaders join our team,” Jungmann said. “Both Dr. Kleinsmith and Dr. Medlin are talented educators who lead with passion and integrity. I appreciate their willingness to serve in this capacity and I look forward to the progress we will make together over the coming months.” 

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