Academic Services

The Academic Services Department is located on the bottom floor of the Noyes building at 1415 N 26 Street. Contact us by phone at 816-671-4005. This office supervises the following areas: Adult Education, Alternative Education, Career and Technical Education, College and Career Readiness, Curriculum and Instruction, Elementary Education, Federal Programs, Secondary Education, Summer School, Virtual Academy, and Workforce Development.




Contact Us

Dr. Ashly McGinnis

Dr. Ashly McGinnis
Assistant Superintendent of Academic and Education Services
[email protected]

Dr. Ashly McGinnis has worked for St. Joseph School District since 2007.  She has served as the Principal of Lafayette High School since 2018.  Prior to 2018, McGinnis worked as an Assistant Principal/Athletic Director at Truman Middle School, as well as a teacher at Truman Middle School and Coleman Elementary School.  Dr. McGinnis was recognized as the Northwest Region Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals Exemplary New Principal of the Year in 2021. 
 
McGinnis earned her bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in mental health counseling from Emporia State University.  She has a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Northwest Missouri State University and a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Missouri.   
 
Dr. McGinnis is passionate about involvement in our community and equity in education.  She serves on United Way’s Board of Directors, Missouri Western’s Teacher Education Advisory Board, and as an officer/treasurer for the Northwest Region Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals.  

McGinnis and her husband, Brendan, have one child and they are members of Wellspring Community Church. 
 

 

Bethany Clark Photo

Bethany Clark
Director of Elementary Education
[email protected]

Bethany Clark joins the district leadership team as Director of Elementary Education after serving as Director of Student Services for the Lathrop R-II School District. She had that role for five years. Her career in education includes a variety of leadership experience in prior districts and teaching roles at the Excelsior Springs School District, Cameron R-I and Columbia Public Schools.

Clark has a bachelor's degree from Northwest Missouri State University, as well as a master's degree and a specialist degree in educational leadership from Northwest.

Clark and her husband, Jon, both grew up in Cameron. They have four children ranging in age from elementary school to high school.

Clark has been active in her community serving as the vice president of the Clinton County Senate Bill 40 Board, which assists individuals in gaining access to needed medical, social, educational, and other services. She is also participating in the Goppert Foundation and Lathrop Park Board's effort to build an inclusive park in Lathrop.

 

Dr. Lara Gilpin

Dr. Lara Gilpin
Director of Secondary Education
[email protected]

Dr. Lara Gilpin has joined the district leadership team as Director of Secondary Education after serving as a teacher and principal the past 31 years. Twenty-nine of those years have been with the St. Joseph School District. Dr. Gilpin spent the 2021-22 school year as the Principal of Benton High School. Prior to that, Gilpin was the principal of Spring Garden Middle School for nineteen years, as well as an assistant principal at both Robidoux and Truman Middle School. Dr. Gilpin began her teaching career at Union Star R-2 School District in 1991 until 1993, when she joined the teaching staff at Spring Garden Middle School. Dr. Gilpin was recognized as the Northwest Missouri Association of Secondary Principals Middle School Principal of the Year in both 2017 and 2019.

Dr. Gilpin received her B.S in Physical Education and Health, M.Ed. in Secondary Administration, and her Ed.S. in Superintendency from Northwest Missouri State University. She received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Baker University.

Currently, Dr. Gilpin is a member of the Southside Rotary, Northwest Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals, and an active CASA volunteer (Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children).

Gilpin and her husband, Doug, are both from St. Joseph, have been married for eighteen years, and are members of Ashland United Methodist Church.

Gail Adkins
Administrative Assistant
[email protected]

Claire Gerhardt
Administrative Assistant
[email protected]

Debbie Wattenbarger
Administrative Assistant
[email protected]

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