School board members hit grand slam in picking Lake

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“Call the Tune” by Mike Anthony
Executive Editor
news1@callnewspapers.com

Mike Anthony

The Lindbergh Board of Education hit a grand slam with the selection of Tony Lake as the district’s new superintendent.
Effective July 1, Dr. Lake will succeed Jim Simpson, who is retiring June 30 after serving as superintendent since 2008. Dr. Lake currently serves as chief operations officer of the Blue Valley School District in Overland Park, Kan.
Since 1991, Lindbergh has had just two superintendents — Jim Sandfort and Dr. Simpson. That is a stark contrast to many school districts that regularly have changes in their top leadership position.
During Dr. Sandfort’s 17-year tenure as superintendent, Lindbergh earned the state’s prestigious Distinction in Performance Award for academic progress and achievement for seven consecutive years — every year the award was offered.
During Dr. Simpson’s time in Lindbergh, the district ranked No. 1 statewide in academic achievement for five consecutive years and saw six schools earn National Blue Ribbon awards in a five-year period.
As we’ve noted before, Dr. 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.
Dr. Simpson hailed the board’s selection of Dr. Lake as superintendent, telling the Call, “… He’s very well-qualified for the Lindbergh superintendent (post), and I think it’s going to be a very successful tenure under Dr. Lake.”
Dr. Sandfort and Dr. Simpson both have set the bar extremely high for Dr. Lake, but we’re confident in his ability to continue the academic excellence and fiscal stewardship for which Lindbergh Schools is known statewide.
Board of Education President Karen Schuster called Dr. Lake “a clear frontrunner” among the 33 candidates who applied for the superintendent’s post.
The board voted unanimously in closed session Dec. 18 to offer Dr. Lake the job, with board member Christy Watz making the motion, which was seconded by board Treasurer Mike Tsichlis.
The board then sealed the deal by voting 7-0 during a Jan. 7 closed session to approve a three-year contract with Dr. Lake.
We commend the board on its selection of Dr. Lake, as we believe he will be a perfect fit for Lindbergh.