Three apply for Lindbergh board vacancy

Lindbergh board candidates will be interviewed Aug. 12

By Mike Anthony

Three residents have applied for a vacancy on the Lindbergh Schools Board of Education.

Cindy McDaniel, Mark Rudoff and Gary Ujka have applied for the board seat vacated by Vic Lenz, according to Superintendent Jim Simpson. Lenz was appointed to the Missouri State Board of Education by Gov. Jay Nixon in June.

State Board of Education members are not permitted to serve a local school district board term concurrently.

Lenz, who had served on the Lindbergh Board of Education since 2004, was re-elected in April to a three-year term.

A district resident for 64 years, Lenz also has contributed to Lindbergh Schools as a teacher, guidance counselor, principal and assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction.

McDaniel, the owner of recruiting company Professional Staffing of St. Louis, ran unsuccessfully for the board in the April election.

Rudoff served 13 years on the Lindbergh board before stepping down in 2012. He is associate vice president, Western Trial Division Field Operations, for the Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.

Ujka, who announces home football games for the Lindbergh High School Flyers, is a retired Rockwood School District teacher, administrator and assistant principal.

Lindbergh school board members will interview the three candidates Monday, Aug. 12.

The candidate selected by the board to fill Lenz’s vacancy will serve until next April, when four seats will be up for election.

Besides the remaining two years of Lenz’s term, three-year seats currently held by board President Kathleen Kienstra, board Vice President Don Bee and board member Vicki Englund are up for election.

At the board’s July 9 meeting, members elected new officers following Lenz’s resignation as board president.

Kienstra, who was vice president, was unanimously elected president, and Bee, who was secretary, was unanimously elected vice president.

Board member Karen Schuster was unanimously elected secretary, while Kara Gotsch remains board treasurer.

In his resignation letter emailed to the Board of Education, Lenz wrote, “It is with great sadness as well as anticipation that I hereby submit my resignation from the Lindbergh Schools Board of Education. I have been appointed to the Missouri State Board of Education, which necessitates this resignation. I have enjoyed my 10 years on the Lindbergh BOE and the many things that we have accomplished for our students.

“I look forward to the new position on the State Board of Education and the opportunity to make a difference in the education that we provide for students across Missouri. Thank you for all the support and friendship that you have given me over the years and I know that will continue in my new position. Lindbergh will always have a special place in my heart, and you will always have my support.”

Regarding Lenz, Simpson told the Call, “… Dr. Lenz is an iconic leader for the Lindbergh School District. He was a Lindbergh student, teacher, administrator and board member. His whole life revolves around Lindbergh. There’s probably no one who loves this district more than Vic Lenz. And he has given his life, his professional life, to this district.

“So it would have to be something very, very big for him to give that up. And there’s only one thing that I could even imagine that would be enticing enough for him to give that up, and that is to use his great level of experience and leadership … on the state school board level.”

As a member of the Missouri State Board of Education, Lenz will help make decisions that will impact every single child in the state, according to Simpson.

“… For Vic Lenz, this is a perfect match, (serving) on the state school board. The state school board could not have gotten a better member and a more experienced member than him,” he said. “So this is a great match for Missouri, and it’s a loss for Lindbergh. But we are Missourians and we want our state to have the best leadership on the state level, so Lindbergh has sent the state one of its best …”