Mehlville’s Meet the Superintendent event will be exactly that

Board of Education expected to hire Terry Noble as permanent superintendent


The Mehlville School District’s Meet the Superintendent event will be exactly that.

Besides meeting interim Superintendent Jerry Chambers, however, Mehlville residents most likely will meet the district’s permanent superintendent — Terry Noble — pending a final vote by the Board of Education before the event.

The Meet the Superintendent event will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27, at the Royale Orleans, 2801 Telegraph Road. The event is for adults only and will feature a brief program at 7:30 p.m.

During a Sept. 20 closed session, board members reached a consensus to select Noble as the district’s permanent superintendent, effective July 1.

Board President Ken Leach told the Call that a closed session to finalize the details of Noble’s employment was scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27, at the Administration Building, 3120 Lemay Ferry Road.

“We’ve invited Terry to come up at 6 o’clock and hopefully we’ll lace everything up there,” he said, adding that if all the details are finalized as expected, Noble will be introduced as the district’s permanent superintendent at the Meet the Superintendent event.

Leach, noting that Noble was the Board of Education’s original unanimous choice to serve as superintendent, said he was very excited about the prospect of having Noble lead the district.

“This is going to be great. I’m real excited about it,” the board president said.

Noble told the Call that he’s looking forward to finalizing the details of his employment and beginning his tenure as Mehlville superintendent at the start of the 2007-2008 school year.

During a May 30 closed session, the Mehlville Board of Education voted to extend a three-year contract to Noble for the superintendent’s post, effective July 1 and continuing through June 30, 2009. For the first year of the contract, Noble’s salary would have been $160,000 plus benefits to be determined, according to the motion, which also stated the contract offer would expire at 5 p.m. Friday, June 9.

However, Noble, who currently serves as superintendent of the De Soto School District, could not accept the Mehlville position because his Board of Education would not release him from his contract, primarily because of the timing as the contract year for administrators began July 1.

“When I met with the Board of Educa-tion in Mehlville last week, I told them that if there was still interest on their part to employ me as their permanent superintendent, I would go back to De Soto, to the board here, and present my letter of resignation, effective at the end of this school year. So that’s what I did …,” Noble told the Call.

The De Soto Board of Education voted unanimously Sept. 21 to accept Noble’s resignation, effective June 30, 2007.

“The Mehlville board had indicated that they were still interested in me, and if I could get things worked out here on this end, and, of course, it’s almost the first of October — the timing is much better now for that to occur,” he said. “But I’ll be honest with you, it was my job to convince the Mehlville board that I was still the person for the job because of the way things transpired back in June. I felt like they had done everything they could to make it possible for me to come there … but the timing for me personally and the De Soto School District wasn’t quite right. But I feel like now the timing is really good from this end and I’m really appreciative of the fact that I was able to revisit this with the Mehlville board this past week.”

The Mehlville Board of Education voted Feb. 9 to accept the resignation of Superintendent Tim Ricker, effective June 30. In a letter to the board, Ricker, 52, said he was resigning to take “full advantage” of the state’s retirement system for public school employees. In the letter, Ricker emphasized that his decision was not related to voters’ rejection of Proposition A, a 97-cent tax-rate increase, on Feb. 7.

On Feb. 15, the Lemont-Bromberek Combined School District 113A Board of Education in Lemont, Ill., voted unanimously to hire Ricker as superintendent, effective July 1.

In late June, the Board of Education voted unanimously to name Jerry Chambers interim superintendent for the 2006-2007 school year. Chambers, a Fulbright Scholar and the 1999 recipient of the Pearce Award as Outstanding Missouri Superintendent, served 10 years as superintendent of the Washington School District in Washington before retiring in 2000.

Wednesday’s Meet the Superintendent event originally was planned as an opportunity to allow the public to meet Chambers and for Chambers to recognize past board members, local politicians, past administrators and other educators. But the event takes on an added feature with the announcement of the new permanent superintendent, Chambers told the Call.

“While it has been billed by the original organizers as ‘Meet the Superintendent’ night, it has never been about me as far as I am concerned,” he said. “Yet, I am excited about the opportunity to talk to so many people, people who are very special to the Mehlville School District, people who are so very important, not just in the past, but also for the future success of our district. Jackie (Chambers’ wife) and I will meet people at the door starting at 7.

“With the announcement of the new permanent superintendent of schools, the evening takes on added excitement and allure. I can’t wait to meet and greet and to talk about the Mehlville School District,” he said. “The board members and I look forward to chatting with people before and after the program. That program will begin at 7:30. After some remarks and special recognitions, the board will introduce the new superintendent, who will deliver a few brief remarks. We all plan to stay around and talk one on one to anyone who wants to visit. It should be a grand evening.”

Noble said, “They’ve invited me to come up Wednesday evening at 6 o’clock prior to the event that’s scheduled and in a gracious gesture, by the way, on the part of Dr. Chambers is to have me involved in the program that was designed really to introduce him to the community, and that’s still going to occur. Like I said, his gracious offer has been for me to also be included in that …”

Chambers said, “Having spoken with and met with Terry Noble several times, I am very impressed. I look forward to cooperating with him during the remainder of our school year so that the district is in the best possible position when Terry arrives in July. His record speaks for itself. He appears to be well qualified and an appropriate choice as superintendent.”

Noble said he was looking forward to Wednesday’s meeting of the Board of Education.

“They’re just excited and I am, too, to bring a final conclusion to all this so we can move forward,” he said.