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Dr. Pam Hedgpeth

Executive Director

Dr. Pam Hedgpeth has a passion for education and has focused on training and supporting school leaders since her retirement from PK-12 public education. She loved her work as a twenty-eight-year public school educator and sees her current work as Executive Director of GOCSD a way to “give back” to a profession she loves.

She is a former superintendent of the Republic R-III Schools and prior to this position she held the titles of assistant superintendent, elementary principal and elementary teacher. Dr. Hedgpeth serves on staff at the National Center for Education and the Economy and engages in international research that focuses on a system approach for designing high performing education entities. Through this role she works with and supports school leaders across the nation in designing world class educational systems.

She was an integral part in developing the educational leadership doctorate program at Southwest Baptist University. She has served on several statewide committees for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. She was also a former President of the Southwest Missouri Superintendent’s Association, founding member of the Republic Community Foundation, former member of Springfield’s Mayor’s Commission on Children, Greene County Library Foundation Board, Missouri Methodist Foundation Board and Ozark Empire Fair Foundation Board. Pam lives in Clever, Missouri on a farm with her husband Kent (a coach and former teacher). They have two daughters Josey McPhail and Molly Eulinger, both who are Missouri educators.

Kathy Gross

Co-Director of Professional Learning

Kathy Gross is a respected educational leader who loves learning, coaching, facilitating and presenting. Kathy serves as a consultant for Learning Forward and is a Training Associate of Cognitive Coaching. She also serves as an Education Ambassador for the non-profit I Pour Life, and is on the Board of Directors for Kagan Charitable Foundation. During her 28 years of service in Springfield (MO) Public Schools she enjoyed being a Director of Professional Learning, Coordinator of Teacher and Leader Development, coach to teachers new to the career, principal and assistant principal, and teacher. Kathy knew she wanted to be a teacher from the time she was a kindergartner and still believes that teaching is the most important profession. This belief led to the acceptance of additional duties in roles that support and empower teachers and leaders, and to the creation of Engrossed in Service, LLC upon her retirement from public schools.

Dr. Debbie Yonke

Co-Director of Professional Learning

Dr. Debbie Yonke recently retired as the Director of Professional Learning and Instructional Support at Republic Schools. During her 30 year career in public education, she has served as a classroom teacher, instructional specialist, and curriculum director. Her professional goal is to empower and support educators so that they might equip their students for a successful future. She has been blessed to serve alongside many other amazing educators in the Republic, Willard and Springfield districts and collaborate with leaders and teachers throughout Missouri. She also has had the opportunity to collaborate with educators throughout the nation as a Cooperative Learning Trainer and also partner with non-profit organizations to train teachers in both Cambodia and Ethiopia. In her free time, Dr. Yonke enjoys spending time with her husband, Steve who is a retired educator, their 3 daughters and grandson, Grady.

Janetta Garton

Director of Digital Learning and Communications

Janetta Garton has 31 years of experience in public education. She was a classroom teacher for 13 years, before serving in other roles that include: Technology Curriculum Director, Federal Programs Director, Digital Media Coordinator, and Coordinator of Instructional Innovation. She has a passion for learning and her expertise is in blended and virtual learning. She has years of experience in providing professional learning opportunities, planning and facilitating initiatives, serving as a system administrator for various digital platforms, and onboarding new teachers. She continues to serve the educational community as GOSCD’s Professional Learning Coordinator, and as an independent digital learning consultant.

Dr. Dennis Cooper

Executive Director Emeritus

After serving 6 years as the inaugural Executive Director of the Greater Ozarks Cooperating School Districts, Dr. Dennis Cooper will continue to serve GOCSD in an advisory capacity as Executive Director Emeritus. Dr. Cooper has 49 years experience in education. He served 25 years as a school superintendent as well as 12 years with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).