Jackson Superintendent has applied for job in St. Louis County

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

The Jackson School District could lose its superintendent at the end of this school year.

Dr. Ron Anderson, who has been with the district since 1999, is one of three finalists for a superintendent's position with the Mehlville School District in south St. Louis County.

According to Mehlville's director of public relations, Patrick Wallace, Anderson was one of 30 people who applied for the position currently held by John Cary, who will retire this summer.

The school board eliminated 24 of the applicants. The remaining six were interviewed Saturday, and three finalists remain.

According to Wallace, the other two finalists are Mehlville's assistant superintendents, Dr. Jane Reed and Dr. Tim Ricker.

Anderson said he was out of town over the weekend and had not had an opportunity to contact Jackson School Board members with the news.

"It would be premature to speculate where things will go from here," Anderson said. "Jackson is a great district and a great place to work. That's where I am right now."

School board member Mark Baker said the news wasn't a shock.

"It doesn't surprise me one bit. We knew he was looking," Baker said.

Baker said he understood why Anderson hadn't told the school board yet.

"Sometimes when you tell your employer you've applied for another job, you can leave the impression that you're just biding your time, your heart's not in your work," Baker said. "I don't think that's the case with Dr. Anderson. He's been such an asset to us."

Anderson will go before a 12-member public input committee made up of students, teachers, parents and community members this Saturday, and will also meet with the Mehlville School Board again.

The school board may announce their decision as early as their next board meeting, which is Dec. 16. If chosen, Anderson would officially take over the position July 1.

The Mehlville School District is more than twice the size of Jackson with a total population of around 12,000 students, two high schools, three middle schools, 11 elementary schools and an early childhood center.

The Jackson School District has around 4,600 students, a senior high, junior high, middle school and seven elementary schools.

Anderson, a former business teacher, resigned in June 1998 from Liberty School District after serving 14 years as superintendent. He then worked as a consultant with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education before coming to the Jackson School District in 1999.

Anderson also had served four years each as superintendent of Gretna public schools and assistant superintendent of York public schools in Nebraska.

cclark@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 128

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