FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Mayor’s Commission for Children board announces the appointment of Brigitte Marrs as its new executive director. Marrs has served on the commission since 2013. She replaces former executive director Denise Bredfeldt.
“Brigitte brings a lot of education experience to this position. Not only has she worked in the classroom, but at the state level serving the state’s highest-needs children,” said Gerry Lee, chairman of the Mayor’s Commission for Children. “She understands the significant challenges the children in our community deal with every day, and she understands the issues facing our community. We are excited about Brigitte accepting this role.”
The purpose of the Mayor’s Commission for Children, which started as Every Kid Counts, is to act as a catalyst to mobilize and educate the community concerning the health and well-being of local youth and to provide an unbiased report on community progress with respect to these issues.
“The Mayor’s Commission for Children has been a collaborating and cooperating force with the stakeholders in our community for the last 13 years. Our commission members are dedicated to educating, advocating and communicating our strategic priorities to improve the lives of all children in Springfield. I am excited to be a part of this important initiative and look forward to serving as its executive director,” Marrs said.
Marrs, who spent several years as a special education consultant for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, began her career as a remedial reading instructor, kindergarten teacher and learning disabilities instructor for Jefferson City Public Schools.
Her career also includes time spent as director of special education for Ozark Public Schools, director of advising for Drury University, director of education for Lakeland Regional Hospital along with positions involving research, fund development and community relations.
Marrs holds lifetime teaching and administrator certificates in special education, special reading, and elementary education. She has a master’s degree from Lincoln University in Jefferson City in educational administration. A native of Springfield, Marrs obtained her bachelor’s degree from Drury University. She was also an instructor at both universities.
Marrs currently is a board member of the Nova Center of the Ozarks for Autism Services and Springfield Little Theatre.
Past board memberships include Junior League of Springfield, Springfield Public Schools’ Kids First Committee, Springfield Regional Opera, Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland, and Drury University Alumni Board and Teacher Education Advisory Committee for the Drury University School of Education.
In May, the Mayor’s Commission for Children announced the results of its 2016 kindergarten readiness study, which showed improvement from the previous study’s results in 2014. The 2016 study indicated about 24.7 percent of local children continue to start school lacking the skills to succeed, down from 27.4 percent in 2014.
Those interested in filling Marrs’ seat on the 16-member Mayor’s Commission for Children board can apply online at springfieldmo.gov/boards or call the City Clerk’s office at 417-864-1651. Meetings are held at 8 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at the Midtown Carnegie Library.
Mayor’s Commission for Children board members are:
- Dr. Elizabeth Andrews
- Dr. Jennifer Baker
- Alexis Brown
- Shara Cash
- Bria Coale
- Christen Davis
- Dr. Laurie Edmonson
- Susan Henderson
- Gerry Lee, chairman
- Dr. Doug McNeal, vice chairman
- Dr. Kayce Morton
- Linda Ramey Greiwe
- Paul Satterwhite
- Kimberly Shinn Brown
- Michael Ussery.
Members serve three-year terms.
For more information, please contact Brigitte Marrs at 417-224-1678 or Mayor’s Commission for Children chairman Gerry Lee at 417-766-2818.