Brigitte Marrs has been named executive director for the Mayor’s Commission for Children. The Springfield organization, formerly Every Kid Counts, aims to act as a catalyst to mobilize and education the community on the health and well-being of local youth. It also provides reporting on this topic.
Marrs has served on the commission since 2013. She replaces Denise Bredfeldt, who plans to retire.
In a statement, Marrs said, “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.”
According to a news release, Marrs spent several years as a special education consultant for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. She later became a remedial reading instructor, kindergarten teacher and learning disabilities instructor for Jefferson City Public Schools.
She’s also served 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.
“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 Mayor’s Commission for Children recently announced the results of its 2016 kindergarten readiness study. The results, which are publicized every other year, showed that in 2016 24.7 percent of local children continue to start school lacking the skills to succeed. That’s down from 27.4 percent in 2014.
Marrs’ appointment leaves a vacancy on the 16-member commission. Those interested in applying can do so at springfieldmo.gov/boards or call the City Clerk’s office at 417-864-1651. Meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month.