Many great things are happening in the Mehlville School District

Eric Knost

Eric Knost

By ERIC D. KNOST

I am writing this column to highlight some of the great things currently happening in the Mehlville School District.

As a district, I fully realize we must always accept our responsibility for various educational thoughts and paradigms that may exist within our community. I also consider it one of our vital responsibilities to communicate and perpetuate a positive standard of excellence. I believe we owe this to our students and we owe this to our community. I am honored to share just a handful of these examples of excellence:

• Trautwein Elementary School recently was named as a Missouri School of Character while many of our other schools were recognized for their emerging qualities in character education.

• Project ENGAGE has been our district’s effort to give back through engaging our students in acts of service to others. There have been no requirements or obligations related to these acts and no material rewards given. Regardless, thousands of our students and staff have voluntarily ENGAGED.

• Later this spring, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will recognize the Mehlville School District once again as having achieved Distinction in Performance. This is the state’s highest honor and it will mark the district’s fifth consecutive year of receiving this award.

• Three high school seniors from our district have been selected as finalists in the 2010-2011 National Merit Scholarship Program. Nationwide, 1.5 million students take the PSAT test while only 15,000 score high enough to be finalists.

Congratulations to Mark Messler, Ben Smith and Michael Weaver for this prestigious honor.

• A recent independent national study depicted the Mehlville School District as being among the top districts in the state when measuring return on investment. Mehlville stands alongside 41 of 522 Missouri school districts for delivering the highest student achievement at the lowest cost. Mehlville is one of only two St. Louis area school districts noted in this top category.

• We recently proposed a financial fix for next year that trims better than $4 million from an already-lean budget. This has been carefully crafted to keep cuts as far away from the classroom as possible. These cuts include more than half a million dollars from our existing administrative structure.

I could go on and on. Yes, I’ve said it before — I’m proud of this school district. I’m proud of our students and our staff, and I’m proud of this community. I want our students, parents and community members to be proud as well and to share in the successes of their school district.

I have a sincere belief in a united effort to perpetuate the good things found in this community and inside the Mehlville School District. I will always take responsibility for my leadership and I will always keep my office open any day of the week, even weekends or evenings, if needed, to listen and discuss your thoughts.

I will gladly meet any community member at any one of our schools to personally provide a tour so you can see what goes on in our buildings on a daily basis.

I’m asking for your help as we continue to turn the page in Mehlville and as we look forward to a bright future for our students and community.

Eric D. Knost currently serves a deputy superintendent of the Mehlville School District and will become superintendent July 1.