Lindbergh board proceeds with superintendent search

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The Lindbergh Board of Education was scheduled earlier this week to meet in closed session to begin reviewing the applications of those who have applied to become the district’s new superintendent.

Current Superintendent Jim Simpson announced in January 2016 that he will retire at the end of the 2017-2018 school year. He has served as superintendent since July 1, 2008.

We believe the board is in good hands with Brent Underwood, a consultant with the Missouri School Boards’ Association, who is facilitating the search for Simpson’s successor. Since the board hired Underwood in early October, he has been working overtime to ensure he’ll find the person who will be the right fit for Lindbergh.

Underwood recently moderated a community forum designed to elicit input on what characteristics and skill sets residents would like to see in the new superintendent.

Besides the community forum, Underwood met with Simpson for a one-on-one interview, along with administrators, principals, former board members, parent leaders, parents, Lindbergh High student leaders and district staff. An online survey regarding the superintendent search garnered roughly 800 responses.

We believe that many of the characteristics, competencies, skill sets and/or experiences residents desire in the new superintendent are those that have been repeatedly demonstrated by Simpson. During his tenure, Simpson has championed academic achievement. Lindbergh ranked No. 1 statewide in academic achievement for five consecutive years and had six schools receive National Blue Ribbon awards in a five-year period.

Fiscal stewardship has been a cornerstone of Simpson and his administration, as the district successfully weathered the Great Recession after sustaining a cumulative loss of revenue totaling $18 million from the 2007-2008 school year through the 2012-2013 school year.

Voters repeatedly have recognized the district’s stewardship of their tax dollars, responding favorably under Simpson when Lindbergh has asked for their support at the polls.

Simpson also has been the Grand Master in coordinating the district’s chess moves to handle surging enrollment growth and overseeing the construction of new facilities to address that growth.

We don’t envy the board’s task in hiring Simpson’s successor, as he has set the bar remarkably high. But we wish the board the best of luck in its quest.