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'The Frank Plan' outlines exciting future for district

Mike Anthony
October 05, 2005 - It's no secret that under the "leadership'' of Superintendent Tim Ricker, Board of Education President Rita Diekemper and former board Presi-dent Cindy Christopher, the Mehl-ville School District has been rudderless, aimlessly drifting without a clear vision of the future.

It's been apparent that Mehlville has been floundering for some time, perhaps since David Gralike stepped down from the Board of Education a few years back.

We were beginning to wonder what happened to the dynamic leadership that once was a constant on the board — leadership provided by the likes of Mr. Gralike, Chuck Van Gronigen, Candy Green, Dan Fowler, Gloria Brazell and Kurt Witzel, to name a few first-rate past presidents.

But last week we were given a glimpse of what Mehlville's future could be — and that future would be extremely bright under the "bold vision'' outlined by Board of Edu-cation member Karl Frank Jr.

Addressing his fellow Board of Edu-cation members during a period for public comments Sept. 27, Mr. Frank discussed a long-range plan for the Mehlville School District that he termed "The Frank Plan'' based on his family's long history with the Mehl-ville School District. Mr. Frank's plan contains seven priorities, three action steps that need to be taken immediately and 10 long-range goals. The long-range goals include having Mehlville become the best school district in the county by 2015 and earning the state's Distinction in Performance Award on an annual basis.

How could anyone disagree with those goals? Given the stony silence Mr. Frank's presentation received, it certainly was clear that a majority of the Board of Education doesn't share his vision of the future for the school district and the community.

Though Mr. Frank has served on the board only since April, his leadership skills are emerging. It's re-freshing to see someone on the Mehl-ville school board who is willing to stand up for what's right without fear of being in the minority on an issue.

Given the stances he has taken and his willingness to speak out, it's clear that Mr. Frank hasn't been taken in by the private club mentality that's been adopted by the board in recent years. We urge Mr. Frank to continue the fine job he's doing and believe he has the dynamic leadership skills that are needed to fulfill his vision of Mehlville becoming the best school district in St. Louis County.

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