Knost continues outreach, making himself accessible

Eric Knost, now in his second year as Mehlville School District superintendent, is continuing the community outreach efforts he started last year.

During his remarkable first year as superintendent, Knost launched an unprecedented effort to engage the community, making himself accessible unlike any of his predecessors.

Knost 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.

Some residents have taken Knost up on his offer to meet with him and visit the district’s schools.

Perhaps most effective of all the community outreach efforts Knost initiated during the 2011-2012 school year were the district’s three town-hall meetings, which took place in October, January and April at various venues throughout the school district.

As we’ve previously written, though the meetings were billed as Mehlville town-hall meetings, a more appropriate title would have been “A Conversation With the Superintendent.”

Residents will have a chance to resume the conversation with Knost as the district has scheduled its first town-hall meeting of the 2012-2013 school year later this month.

The town-hall meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, at Genesis Banquet Center, 2651 Telegraph Road.

One of the more compelling aspects of the town-hall meetings is they have no agenda other than to hear residents’ questions, comments, suggestions and concerns in an informal setting.

Despite the lack of an agenda, there’s no shortage of topics to be discussed.

For example, the Board of Education recently awarded a contract for the construction of a new tennis-court complex at Bernard Middle School and is scheduled to consider awarding a contract for the construction of a new district auditorium when it meets Wednesday, Oct. 17.

At the first town-hall meeting in October 2011, Knost said his goal was to unite all segments of the community. Based on the attendance at the past town-hall meetings and the response to his efforts to engage the community, we believe Knost has made exceptional strides in doing so.

As superintendent, Knost has gone to great lengths to make himself accessible to the community.

We urge residents to take advantage of that accessibility by attending the Oct. 22 town-hall meeting.