Dr. Sharon Underwood

DR. SHARON UNDERWOOD (right) and the staff and students at West Elementary School in Ozark hosted a visit from Gov. Mike Parson (left) in May 2019.

In unusual move, the principal of West Elementary School is Ozark resigned in the middle of a school year.

Parents were notified of the departure of Dr. Sharon Underwood as kids returned to school from winter break. Underwood served as the principal at West from 2012 to Dec. 19, 2019, when the Ozark R-VI Board of Education reportedly accepted her resignation during an executive session meeting. Underwood had reportedly been on paid leave for six days prior to her resignation.

The reason or reasons for Underwood’s departure were not disclosed.

The school district appointed Dr. Gina McBain to the position of interim principal at West. McBain was working as an assistant principal at East Elementary. She has been employed with the Ozark School District since 2001.

“We expect this to be a smooth transition for students and our teachers and staff will assist students with this change,” Dr. Kent Sappington, the Ozark School District Executive Director of Elementary Learning, said in a message sent to parents.

West Elementary has an enrollment of approximately 647 students.

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