Simpson brings Lindbergh a true ‘decade of distinction’


Editorial by the Call

A new era will soon begin in Lindbergh Schools, as Superintendent Jim Simpson retires at the end of the current school year June 30.

Dr. Simpson has received many honors over the course of a stellar 21-year career as a superintendent in the state of Missouri, including a “decade of distinction” at Lindbergh.

Last week, he accepted accolades from the Missouri Senate and Missouri House of Representatives.

County Executive Steve Stenger declared June 12 “Dr. Jim Simpson Day” in St. Louis County.

Every honor that Dr. Simpson received is certainly well-deserved.

We simply can’t say enough about the statewide and national success that Lindbergh has enjoyed since Simpson became superintendent in 2008.

Dr. Simpson came to Lindbergh after serving as superintendent in Joplin for seven years. He said last week that the one district where he really wanted to end his career was Lindbergh. He was very cognizant of the district’s “history of excellence” in academic achievement and fiscal stewardship and vowed to continue that tradition of success.

And did he ever. Under Dr. Simpson, Lindbergh ranked No. 1 statewide in academic achievement for five consecutive years and saw six schools receive National Blue Ribbon awards in a five-year period.

It’s no surprise that Crestwood became one  of the hottest real-estate markets in the country.

The district also has faced significant financial challenges during Dr. Simpson’s tenure, circumstances exacerbated by the Great Recession and the aggressive enrollment growth Lindbergh is experiencing due to its success.

Voters have recognized the district’s financial practices and have responded favorably under Dr. Simpson when Lindbergh has asked for their support at the polls, most notably with Proposition L in 2010.

We’re not sure what state the district would be in without that tax hike since dozens of teaching jobs were on the line, but we do know that Lindbergh actually improved its academic performance despite undergoing budget cuts at that time — an amazing feat for any school district.

As monumentally successful as Dr. Simpson’s tenure has been, we’re hopeful to see what will happen under his successor, Tony Lake.

If Lake also creates a “decade of distinction,” residents and students will be the true winners.