South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Mehlville School District fortunate to have Gaines

‘Call the Tune’ by Mike Anthony

Superintendent Chris Gaines last month began his third year at the helm of the Mehlville School District.

Since becoming superintendent July 1, 2015, Dr. Gaines has been at the forefront of a whirlwind of changes designed to make Mehlville a destination school district.

Some of the changes were long overdue, such as the redistricting that will go into effect with the coming school year. Mehlville had not embarked on a major redistricting initiative in 14 years, yet the outcome, in our opinion, could not have been better, as more than 93 percent of students will stay at their current school.

Dr. Gaines’ visionary leadership also led to the approval of the district’s school of innovation, Mosaic Elementary, that will open later this month. Mosaic is the first school of its kind in the region, and students will learn at their own pace and path through personalized learning in the former St. John’s Elementary.

Long a statewide leader in public education, Dr. Gaines also is a prominent player in the national education scene. Just last month, he was sworn in as president-elect of The School Superintendents’ Association, or AASA, the nation’s largest superintendents’ organization.

Next July, Dr. Gaines will take the oath of office as AASA president and serve for the 2018-2019 school year.

We believe his involvement with the AASA and the knowledge he will gain as president will prove to be invaluable to Mehlville. Furthermore, Dr. Gaines’ affiliation with the AASA will shine a national spotlight on the Mehlville School District and its cutting-edge programs and practices.

Not everyone has embraced all of Dr. Gaines’ initiatives, but we applaud him for his willingness to bring innovation to Mehlville.

It’s obvious that the Board of Education has complete confidence in the superintendent, as board members recently voted 6-0 to extend Dr. Gaines’ contract through 2020.

The June 29 closed-session decision marked the first time the board voted unanimously on a contract for Dr. Gaines. Though board member Larry Felton was unable to vote because he was attending by phone, he said he would have voted in favor of the extension had he attended the meeting in person.

Mehlville is fortunate to have Dr. Gaines at the helm of the district.

We hope his tenure here will be a long one, as he can provide the long-term stability the district has been lacking in recent years.

More to Discover