Degrees and Certifications:
Ed.D. Educational Leadership, St. Louis University
Dr. Frances Gooden
The 2018-19 school year will mark my 13th year with Ozark as the director of Finley River School. Along with my work at Finley River School, I am involved with associations at the state and national level advocating for alternative education and at-risk youth.
I was raised in Arkansas and came to Missouri to attend college. After spending 15 years moving around and working in the business world, I made the decision to return to college and become an educator. Prior to working in Ozark, I was a special education teacher in Bay Point, CA and Springfield, MO before spending 4 years in Springfield as the director of at-risk programs at Parkview High School. I received my Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from St. Louis University in 2009.
My husband and I live outside Fordland with 3 dogs and numerous cats. I have two grown children and three very intelligent grandsons. In my spare time I enjoy running, reading, and relaxing. As a family we like to kayak and fish the river, lakes, and creeks in the area.