In accordance with a strict timeline set by the Ladue School Board, a newly-hired superintendent will be in place sometime by the end of February.
Working backwards, applications to fill the position vacated by Dr. Marsha Chappelow are due by January 23 and in a four hour meeting all legitimate candidates will be reviewed by members of the school board on February 5.
Contrary to what some might have been thinking, the Ladue School board is conducting a throughly transparent search and seeking input from all parents, teachers, students and district stakeholders.
There are mechanics in place for anyone to comment, even if they missed the public meeting at Ladue High Tuesday night, or the early morning meeting at the district office today. (Details of the Tuesday meeting tomorrow).
Some 50 parents, stakeholders, teachers, board members and staff took part in a spirited give-and-take session, directed by Dr. James “Chris” Christman, department chair of special services and leadership studies at Pittsburgh State University (Kansas) and a member of the search firm of McPherson & Jacobson, Omaha, NE.
Make no mistake about this, the Omaha firm will help the board create the criteria, screen the candidates and narrow the field. The board of education alone will select Ladue’s next superintendent.
Comments from the audience
Those at the meeting had some strong thoughts of what to do.
Allison Collinger, parent, marketer and professional communicator said “teachers want someone hired they can trust quickly.”
John Yates, a member of the Ladue High School Alumni Association board of directors said there’s been plenty of disappointment with the last three hires.
He was referring to Stewart Weinberg who resigned under great duress; David Benson who skipped out for another position in Iowa and Chappelow who retired and left the job prematurely.
Attorney Hal Burroughs, a member of the City of Ladue Council wants to see the district hire someone with a “strong vision of educational excellence.”
To the speaker, there was a sense that Ladue was a great school district that had slipped somewhat lately. Everyone wants to hire a highly-qualified superintendent and head the district firmly in the right direction.
Somehow, some way everyone concerned in Ladue would like to select the next superintendent with the qualities of Dr. Ivan C. Nicholas and Dr. Charles D. McKenna who served 58 years combined and with unqualified distinction.
Only time will tell if that happens.
Patch.com will detail the search process as outlined by Dr. Christman on Thursday in the Patches of Ladue-Frontenac, Creve Coeur and Olivette.