Knost has made commitments to community he ‘fully intends to keep’

To the editor:

It was no surprise to see the recent letter from Kate Martin criticizing the construction projects in the Mehlville School District.

Kate is no stranger to lashing out against us for just about anything that doesn’t look like complacency. I personally have never met Kate.

When you haven’t had the chance to meet with someone or personally discuss their concerns, it’s hard to know if they have ever been inside of our classrooms or if they have ever stood in the current small, inadequate areas where our theatrical productions take place or if they have a thorough understanding of the extensive curriculum in our district.

It’s hard to know if they are knowledgeable of things like Common Core State Standards or if they have expertise regarding the complexities of school finance.

Additionally, do they know we spend money to transport kids and rent facilities to accommodate the needs of our competitive tennis program?

Getting kids graduated and on to college is one of our required goals. Yes, we are held accountable for students going on to college. Like so many of our other extracurricular programs, tennis has provided partial and full scholarships for many of our students who otherwise may not attend college. Is it understood we are not able to host Missouri State High School Activities Association tennis matches in our district with our current situation?

Are people aware of our current need to rent facilities to accommodate many of the community performances of our performing arts music programs, and are they aware of the large number of Mehlville students who graduate and pursue performing arts degrees? Some of those desired performing arts degrees would include sound engineering and light engineering, neither of which can be prepared for in a gymnasium.

I do know the Mehlville School District, under my leadership and the governance of this Board of Education, is finding the ability to move this district forward in achievement, curriculum, technology, facilities and community engagement.

All of the accomplishments and progress of the last year and a half have come with no presented ballot measures, while Mehlville maintains the second lowest residential tax rate and the lowest commercial tax rate in St. Louis County.

We are showing progress and stewardship, and based upon the constant feedback I receive, the community is getting behind our efforts. My phone number is (314) 467-5001. Countless residents have considerately given me the time of day to share their thoughts, concerns and suggestions. I’ve listened and given consideration to all of them when making decisions for Mehlville.

I’ve made commitments to this community that I fully intend to keep.

If you truly want to help the district, call me and I’ll be glad to listen. If your only interest is to tether the district to cynicism and controversy without taking time to truly understand the facts, your interests are probably not centered on helping our community schools.