Springfield Staff Directory

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David Ely

David Ely

I attended high school at Perryville High School in Perryville, Missouri. Received my B.A. in Pastoral Ministries at Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. I am now teaching in my 3rd year at the Goodwill Excel Center. I truly enjoy teaching the amazing students at our facility, and working with the great staff and leadership here. I have had the privilege to teach Math Lab, Pre-Algebra, Geometry, Algebra, Applied Mathematics, Comp and Film, Music Appreciation, Health, and Physical Fitness.

Tracy Glenn

Tracy Glenn

Community Outreach Coordinator/IRC Instructor

Been with MERS Goodwill for 12 years. Attended: North Arkansas College, Missouri State University, Drury University. "I love being a small part of an organization that allows me to serve in a variety of different roles."

Matt Gravelin

Matt Gravelin

Math, Technology, Business

B.S. Ed Missouri State University; M.Ed. in Educational Technology

"The Excel Center is a great place for a second chance at education."

Jo Hamilton

Jo Hamilton

Studied at: Missouri State University and University of Kansas. Previously employed at: Charleston High School in Charleston MO; performed student teaching at Parkview in Springfield under M. House. I enjoy working for Goodwill because I'm afforded autonomy and support, both personally and professionally. Employers are willing to discuss curriculum changes and ideas, respectful of identity and knowledge.

Heather Harden

Heather Harden

My name is Heather Harden, I am the College and Career Readiness Specialist at The Excel Center. I came to The Excel Center with 20 years of public school experience, ranging from early childhood education, middle school classroom teacher, Title I Reading teacher, Federal Programs Director, to K-12 Principal. In my current position, it is my job to work with students in their last few terms guiding them towards post-graduation opportunities such as college, job search, or Industry Recognized Certifications. I truly feel like I have found my passion working with our adult students in changing lives and creating brighter futures.

Amy Johnson

Amy Johnson

I attended Harding University and earned a Bachelor's degree in Social Work, and completed my graduate work at MSU, and earned a Master's Degree in Social Work. I began my career with MERS/Goodwill in 2005 as a Vocational Evaluator. I began with The Excel Center in 2018. I love working for The Excel Center, because it is a life changing endeavor for our students. I am honored to be a part of something bigger that will affect generations to come, reverse poverty, and chart new courses! The diploma that comes with our education gives hope, and helps people imagine, explore, and accomplish their goals!

John Kennedy

John Kennedy

Springfield Director | Humanities, Fine Arts, Dual Credit

Ph.D. University of Iowa; M.Ed. Framingham State University; M.A. Missouri State University; Grad. Cert. Western New Mexico State University; B.A. Missouri State University

John has served as director of the Excel Center in Springfield since 2021. Previously, he taught high school courses in English and theatre and dual credit courses in history and religion at the Excel Center.

Kim-King

Kim King

Education: Master of Science in Health Promotion and Wellness Management from Missouri State University; Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Emphasis in Mathematics, Spanish, Language Arts from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. I have a vast job history which has lead me to the Excel Center and I still have a list of professions that I am interested in possibly pursuing when "I grow up". I am an educator by heart, education, and profession. I enjoy meeting new people, fostering friendships, educating people, and learning new things every day. I love spending time traveling and experiencing life's moments with family and friends.

Sam Rather

Sam Rather

Mother of 4 who worked as a Pediatric Nurse for 9 years before finding her passion working with children in a different setting at The Excel Center Daycare. I chose this job because I love how the Excel Center took one of the main reasons why students drop out of school or never return which is childcare, and took that barrier into consideration by creating a free onsite daycare for our students. At that moment I knew this program was exactly what I wanted to be a part of!

Melissa Wakefield

Melissa Wakefield

I have received two Bachelor's of Science from SEMO, one in Political Science and one in Education. I taught in Missouri's public school system since 1998,. I began my career in education by teaching GED in the Prison system. I loved the idea of the Excel center since I heard about it. I see a huge benefit to the students and our society in offering this choice for attaining a diploma.