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Janelle Pope promoted to associate superintendent

Janelle Pope was selected as the new associate superintendent of secondary education and human resources for the Jackson schools. Submitted photo

Current Jackson Middle School Principal Janelle Pope was approved by the Jackson R-2 School Board to become the district’s new associate superintendent of secondary education and human resources, starting next school year.

The school board approved the promotion, which goes into effect July 1, during a special school board meeting on Tuesday, March 1.

“Mrs. Pope has been a consistent and reliable leader at Jackson Middle School and a knowledgeable voice in our District, always making decisions based on what is best for students while balancing taking care of teachers and staff,” said Scott Smith, Superintendent of Jackson R-2 School District.

Pope has been the principal of Jackson Middle School since 2013 and served as the middle school’s assistant principal from 2012-2013. She began her career in 2002 at Jackson High School as a high school English teacher.

Pope will take the place of Dr. Matt Lacy, who will transition to the position of assistant superintendent of finance. Lacy has worked for the district since 2004 and served on the administration team since 2013.

During his public education career, Lacy has served as a high school history teacher, assistant principal at Jackson High School and principal at Jackson Middle School.

Lacy replaces Terry Gibson, who has worked for the district for five years as its chief financial officer. Gibson plans on moving to Kansas City after the school year.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past five years. He can be reached at

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