Assistant principal hired at Mehlville Senior High

By MIKE ANTHONY

The Mehlville Board of Education recently hired Alicia J. Landers to serve as an assistant principal at Mehlville Senior High School for the 2007-2008 school year.

Board members voted 6-0 during a March 22 closed session to hire Landers at a salary of $84,065. Board Secretary Tom Correnti was absent.

Landers, currently a sixth-grade teacher at Beaufort Elementary School in the Union School District, will replace Assistant Principal Sharon Mackay, who is retiring at the end of the school year.

Landers was selected from 75 applicants who sought the assistant principal’s post, interim Superintendent Jerry Chambers announced during the Board of Education’s March 22 meeting.

“We had a thorough interview process and then we had three just out-of-this-world finalists who we talked to on Tuesday (March 20) of this week. And it’s my pleasure tonight as superintendent representing the staff and the board to introduce our new assistant principal for the ninth-graders at Mehlville High … Alicia Landers,” Chambers said.

“Alicia has worked in the Union School District now for some time. I’m going to let her tell you a little bit about that. She has been facilitator of instructional technology integration, also a classroom teacher recently. She had administrative experience a few years ago and then along came budget cuts. We all know how that goes. And in the superintendent’s words and the superintendent (VeAnn Tilson) is a good friend of mine, she said: ‘She is dynamite. I don’t know how we’ve kept her.’

“And we investigated Alicia, to put it bluntly, and quite a bit, and we’re really excited about what she can bring to Mehlville High School, but also to Mehlville School District. She headed up the Union Intermediate Academy, which was for at-risk youths and that program, even though it was really great — we know something about this — it fell victim to the budget cuts,” he continued.

“She’s very committed to all students, but particularly sees opportunity with at-risk students … One of the questions during the interview I know that impressed us was about discipline. She says: ‘I really like doing discipline,’ and I’ll let her tell you why because to many people and to many administrators, that’s the tough part of the job. It’s the nasty part of the job. It’s sometimes the thankless part of the job, depending on what kind of results you get and what kind of support or lack of support you that get from the parents …,” Chambers said, introducing Landers to those present.

Landers said, “I want to thank you for allowing me to have this opportunity. I’m very excited to be a part of the Mehlville School District. It’s a very vibrant district and I hope I can make you proud.

“Like Dr. Chambers said, I do like at-risk students and I do like discipline,” she continued. “I believe discipline is a learning opportunity and it is a vital part of education. If students can learn how to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner, they will be also a vibrant part of our district and the businesses will also thrive. And with our help in preparing students for the future, they’ll not only be academically sound, but they’ll be ready and prepared for the work force. Thank you for allowing me to be here. I appreciate the opportunity.”

In a separate matter during the March 22 closed session, the board voted 6-0 to non-renew 29 either full- or part-time teaching positions for the 2007-2008 school year.

Board Vice President Karl Frank Jr., who made the motion, told the Call that the administration does intend to hire back some of the non-renewed teachers, but not until staffing needs for the coming school year are determined. Several of the non-renewed teachers are good teachers who only work part-time now, he added.

One year ago, the Board of Education voted not to renew the contracts of nearly 50 probationary teachers for the 2006-2007 school year. Due to retirements and attrition, only a handful of those teachers were not rehired, former Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources A.D. McClain told the board last May.