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JC Schools Names New Principals for Two Secondary Schools

JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City School District today announced the hiring of principals for Lewis & Clark Middle School and Jefferson City Academic Center for the 2022-2023 school year. The professionals hired to these positions are as follows: 

  • Justin Browning, current principal at the Jefferson City Academic Center, will be the new principal for Lewis & Clark Middle School. Mr. Browning is replacing Dr. Deanne Fisher, who was named as the new principal for Jefferson City High School; 
  • Shawn Kelsch, current principal at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, will be the new principal for the Jefferson City Academic Center, replacing Justin Browning.

“Lewis & Clark Middle School and the Jefferson City Academic Center will undoubtedly benefit from these two terrific leaders,” Gary Verslues, JC Schools Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education said. “I am confident that the individuals chosen for these roles are well-equipped to keep their schools headed in the right direction. We are looking forward to these new principals continuing the academic, behavioral, and culture-building work that is needed in the years to come.”

Justin Browning (Lewis & Clark Middle School)

Justin Browning’s career in education began as a teacher and coach, and includes experience as a middle and high school assistant principal and athletics director. For the past three years, Browning has served as the lead principal at the Jefferson City Academic Center, where he leads the development, implementation, and evaluation of a data-driven plan for increasing student achievement.

“I am looking forward to giving my absolute best effort to collaboratively lead what is already an exceptional staff at Lewis & Clark Middle School,” Browning said. “I am so very proud of our team at JCAC, and I will miss the relationships I have built with our staff and students. I plan to utilize my experience to equip and support the LCMS staff, students, and parents with the necessary resources to continue a caring environment that drives success.”

Browning earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Tennessee, and his Master of Arts in Teaching from Missouri Baptist University, with a certification in social studies. He received an Education Specialist Degree in Education Leadership and Policy and analysis from the University of Missouri, and is in the process of completing his Doctorate of Education (with an anticipated 2022 graduation date). 

Shawn Kelsch (Jefferson City Academic Center)

Shawn Kelsch joined JC Schools in 2017 as the lead principal at Thomas Jefferson Middle School. There, he created and fostered a positive school culture with students and staff. He increased instructional focus with lesson plans, walk-throughs, and a common instructional model. 

“While TJMS has been an amazing source of joy and pride, I am excited to become a part of the Jefferson City Academic Center team. I am committed to student centered focus and measurable instructional improvement that maximizes growth. I look forward to creating and fostering the personal growth of students in a safe, respectful, and nurturing environment, so that they become productive and successful citizens in our community,” Kelsch said. 

Kelsch earned his bachelor of science degree in biology education from Culver-Stockton College and his master of science in educational administration from Southwest Baptist University. In 2007, he completed his education specialist in advanced educational administration at Southwest Baptist University. Kelsch is currently a doctoral student at Missouri Baptist University.