Tags: Opinions Column
July 03, 2013 - We're pleased the Mehlville Board of Education voted unanimously to approve a new three-year contract for Superintendent Eric Knost.
It's no secret the seven members of the Board of Education have diverse points of view. Given that, it's refreshing to see the entire board unite behind Knost, who began his third year as superintendent on July 1.
Both Knost and Board of Education President Mark Stoner cited the unanimous vote in their comments to the Call's Gloria Lloyd about approval of the superintendent's contract. We view the board's decision as a vote of confidence for Knost, who has enjoyed a remarkable tenure during his first two years on the job.
A top accomplishment of Knost's over the past two years has been his unprecedented effort to engage the community, making himself accessible — unlike any of his predecessors.
As superintendent, Knost has conducted a series of town-hall meetings at various venues throughout the district in which he engages in a dialogue with those in attendance and answers their questions. He also has communicated with residents through letters to the editor, invited residents to call him at (314) 467-5001 and has offered to meet one-on-one with residents, including district critics.
In addition, Knost has been the driving force behind the district's forward motion, with remarkable results on improving academic achievement and the district's facilities.
Under Knost's leadership, Mehlville has made great strides in increasing its career programs and is continuing to add Advancement Placement, or AP, offerings at Mehlville and Oakville high schools. For the 2013-2014 school year, Mehlville will offer 19 AP classes — not to mention tuition-free, full-day kindergarten.
As for facilities, the district dedicated its new tennis complex in May, while work continues on Mehlville's first auditorium, which is being constructed on the Mehlville High campus.
We believe approval of the three-year pact with Knost brings some long-needed stability to Mehlville's top leadership position. Since John Cary retired as Mehlville superintendent in 2003, no superintendent has served more than four years in the district's top post.
When he was initially selected to serve as superintendent in December 2010, Knost told board members during a work session, "I will lead, and I will not disappoint."
We believe Knost has fulfilled that pledge and will continue to do so.