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Capen to Lead East as Principal for 2023-24 School Year

The Ozark Board of Education, during a special board meeting March 10, voted to hire Karen Capen as East Elementary principal for the 2023-24 school year.

Capen, who is currently East Elementary assistant principal, is replacing Anna Thurman, who will serve as director of interventions for the 2023-24 school year. 

“Over the years, I have had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the incredible work that goes on at East Elementary. I am excited to continue to collaborate with our outstanding educators, families and community partners to provide our students with the highest quality of education possible,” Capen said. “I am grateful for the trust that has been placed in me and look forward to continuing to work together to achieve our shared goals.” 

Capen joined the Ozark School District in the 2020-21 school year as East Elementary assistant principal. She started her education career in Nixa Public Schools in 2006 as a classroom teacher and math specialist, then became an instructional coach in 2016. Capen earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Administration in 2015 from Lindenwood University and her Specialist degree in Superintendency from Missouri State University in 2019.

“Mrs. Capen has proven herself as the best candidate to continue the tradition of excellence at East Elementary,” said Dr. Kent Sappington, executive director of elementary learning. “I look forward to continuing to learn and grow alongside her.”

Capen will step into her new role July 1, 2023.