Mehlville School District on the cusp of greatness

‘Call the Tune’ by Mike Anthony

By Mike Anthony

We believe the Mehlville School District’s future is brighter than it has been at any point in recent memory.

Mehlville is on the cusp of greatness. Today, the district enjoys a great relationship with the community, and boasts a well-rounded Board of Education and an excellent administrative team led by Superintendent Chris Gaines.

The district’s positive relationship with the community has resulted in an unprecedented accomplishment — voter approval of back-to-back ballot measures.

In November, voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition R, a 49-cent tax-rate increase that is a game-changer for Mehlville.

Prop R was approved by nearly 73 percent of votes cast, and is allowing the district to begin implementing its strategic plan.

In April, voters approved Proposition A with nearly 64 percent of ballots cast. The 4-cent, no-tax-rate-increase tax transfer will place roughly $685,000 into a dedicated fund for replacement of roofs and aging HVAC systems.

The Board of Education is comprised of a solid mix of veteran members and up-and-coming leaders ready to take the district to new levels of success. And in what likely is a first, all of the board’s officers are women — President Samantha Stormer, Vice President Jean Pretto and Secretary Lisa Dorsey.

Since her election in 2014, Stormer has taken a no-nonsense approach to her board responsibilities. We believe her forthright leadership style makes her a natural to serve as board president.

The board’s newest member, Kevin Schartner, who was elected last month, is a fine addition. With his background as treasurer of the pro-Prop R campaign committee, the Mehlville-Oakville United Committee, Schartner has already hit the ground running.

Mehlville also has the visionary leadership of Gaines, a longtime superintendent with a proven record of success in both the Wright City and Crawford County school districts. His experience has already benefited Mehlville in a myriad of ways.

Adding to the district’s groundswell of positive momentum is Gaines’ proposed Choice School of Innovation, which could further enhance Mehlville’s emerging status as a destination district.

With all of the pieces in place, we envision a period of unparalleled success for the Mehlville School District.