The MRH Administrative Council manages and supervises the school district. The Council consists of a 16-member administrative team including Central Office administrators, school principals, assistant principals, high school athletic director, director of student services, director of alternative services, and the Special School District coordinator. Administrative Council meets monthly to discuss district goals, progress, and achievement.
Central Office Administrators
Dr. Karen I. Hall Ed.D.
Dr. Karen Hall took the helm as Superintendent of Maplewood Richmond Heights School District in July 2012, following 19 years as an educator and administrator at both MRH (Assistant Superintendent) and the Pattonville School District, where she was the principal at Willow Brook Elementary School. Before that, she worked as an elementary school assistant principal in both Pattonville and Ritenour School Districts and a teacher in the Kirkwood School District. Karen has earned her Ed.D. in educational leadership from Webster University. She also holds an Ed.S. from Lindenwood University. She has a master’s degree in educational administration from Saint Louis University and a bachelor’s degree in education from Fontbonne University.
Dr. Hall is a 2019 honoree by the National Conference for Community Justice, a St. Louis-based organization which promotes understanding and respect among all races, religions, and cultures through its advocacy and educational programs that embrace diversity, self-awareness, and community-wide change.
She was named an Inspiring St. Louisan in 2014 by the NAACP of St. Louis County.
Dr. Hall believes fervently in diversity and inclusive education. In January 2013, she received the Outstanding Administrator Award from the Missouri State Thespians Association. MRH teachers and students who performed in the High School’s play, The Laramie Project, nominated Hall. Former MRH High School student Cassidy Snyder wrote in the nomination: "Karen Hall has been an adamant supporter from the beginning. Her support was what made the show possible...when protesters from Westboro Baptist Church arrived; she was on the front steps, defending us through a megaphone.”
Dr. Hall is committed and passionate about ensuring educational excellence for all MRH students. She is dedicated to developing rich learning experiences in schools so that students develop leadership skills, are actively engaged in the community, have opportunities to explore social justice issues, and have access to artistic self-exploration balanced with academic rigor. In 2012, Dr. Hall directed her administrators to implement the Public Education Leadership Project, PELP, from Harvard University. The implementation of the PELP model’s systemic thinking is changing the achievement, alignment, and sustainability within the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District. The work is moving forward to close the achievement gap and ensure that all students achieve at higher levels.
Dr. Karen Hall’s passion for educational equity and excellence drives her relationships and leadership. She is committed to continuing the success of the district and building upon the strong foundation the community has created together.
Roxanna Mechem Ed.S.
Roxanna Mechem started with MRH in August 2011 as a Middle School reading teacher and instructional specialist. She was formerly with the Rockwood and Union School Districts. In her career, Mechem has served as a curriculum coordinator, instructional coach, and assessment director. Roxanna has an Ed.S. from Central Missouri State University, a master’s degree in education/curriculum from Southwest Baptist University, and a bachelor’s degree in education/history from Southeast Missouri State University. Roxanna and her husband have two children.
Director of Technology and Business Services
Chris Hoelzer started in the MRH School District in 2001 as band and instrumental music director for grades 7 to 12. Starting in 2006, Chris began taking on technology responsibilities including student information systems manager and Project Headware coordinator. In 2010, Chris became the director of technology. He holds a B.A. in instrumental music education from University of Missouri-St. Louis and an M.A. in educational leadership from St. Louis University. He and his wife Danielle have three children.
Director of Communications
Ed Rich is a 1989 graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He has three decades of experience in broadcast news, including seven years as a writer, reporter and anchor at KMOX Radio in St. Louis and twenty-one-plus years as manager of the assignment desk at KSDK TV in St. Louis. A native of Farmington, MO., Ed is married and has two grown sons.
Dr. Cyndi Hebenstreit Ph.D.
Principal, MRH Early Childhood Center
Cyndi Hebenstreit is principal at MRH Early Childhood Center, as well as serving as administrator for the preK-5 inquiry curriculum. She received her doctorate at Saint Louis University in the department of educational leadership and higher education, her master of arts degree in early childhood education at Maryville University and her bachelor's degree and teaching certifications from Saint Louis University. She resides in Richmond Heights with her family.
Cynthia Cobb M.Ed.
Assistant Principal, MRH Early Childhood Center
The newest assistant principal in the MRH family will be Cynthia Cobb, who will serve alongside Dr. Cyndi Hebenstreit at the Early Childhood Center. Cobb will fill the shoes of Darion Murdock who begins a new chapter this fall as an assistant principal in the Hazelwood School District. Cobb has an extensive history both in the classroom and in the administrative world. She has been a teacher in the Riverview Gardens and Hazelwood School districts, and was dean of students at Lafayette Preparatory Academy. She holds two master's degrees from the University of Missouri St. Louis and will earn an Education Specialist degree in 2019.
Dr. Angela Thompson Ed.D.
Principal, MRH Elementary School
Dr. Angela Thompson assumes the principal's job at MRHE in the summer of 2020. She is a longtime Webster Groves School District teacher/administrator. At Webster Groves High School, Dr. Thompson served as Assistant Principal. She had also been an English/Reading teacher coach and briefly served as an interim K-6 Principal. Dr. Thompson received her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Maryville University, earned her Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Missouri Baptist University and her Bachelor of Arts in Reading Education came from Upper Iowa University. Dr. Thompson was a math and English teacher, as well as a coach, in Muncie Community Schools. In 2019, she was inducted into the Upper Iowa University Hall of Fame, where she was a basketball standout. Dr. Thompson resides in South St. Louis County with her husband Tavares, sons Julius and Myles, and their dog Otto.
Dr. Michael Dittrich Ed.D
Principal, MRH Middle School
Dr. Michael Dittrich came to MRH in 2012. Since 2002, he was the assistant principal at Hancock Elementary in Hancock Place School District. He has also worked as a sixth grade communication arts teacher and third grade at-risk teacher in the Hancock District. Michael received his B.S. from Southeast Missouri State University and his M.A. in educational administration and Ed.S. from Lindenwood University. He earned his doctorate in educational leadership from Lindenwood University in July, 2020. In 2012, he was recognized as a National Outstanding Assistant Principal. Mike and his wife have two children.
Meghan Boyer Ed.S
Assistant Principal, MRH Elementary School
Meghan is a graduate of Webster University and holds Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Special Education as well as an Education Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership. She has worked in the field of Special Education through Special School District for the last 11 years serving students and families of all abilities. She taught at MRHE for the last 4 years of that time frame. She is high energy and extremely passionate about her work.
MS Assistant Principal, MRH Middle School
Joshua Flores has been named the next assistant principal for Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School. Flores holds a B.A. in Social Studies education from the University of Missouri Columbia, a Masters in School Administration from UMSL, an Educational Specialist degree in School Leadership from UMSL, and is in his final year of the Doctor of Education program through UMSL. He taught social studies the last five years at Eureka High School in the Rockwood School District, and prior to that, taught social studies and freshmen success at Thunder Ridge High School in Highlands Ranch, CO. for two years. Flores also served as a varsity football coach and head freshmen baseball coach at Eureka. He was a counselor at the Boys and Girls Club of Harlingen, TX. and Denver, CO.
Dr. Kevin Grawer
Principal, MRH High School
Dr. Kevin Grawer (EdD 2016, Maryville University) joins MRH from Hancock Elementary, where he had served as the assistant principal since 2005. He also has ten years experience teaching high school Spanish, and coaching basketball and baseball. Dr. Grawer also holds an M.A. in teaching from Webster University and he has his Missouri Principal’s Certificate for K-12 from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Kevin and his wife Allegra have three kids.
Dr. Erica Peyton Ed.D
Assistant Principal, MRH High School
Dr. Erica Peyton has extensive administrative experience, having served as assistant principal in the Hazelwood and Normandy school districts. She was also a teacher in the Recovery School District and Jefferson Parish, both in Louisiana. Dr. Peyton received a BA in Secondary Education from Dillard University in New Orleans, an MA in Educational Leadership from the University of New England, and a doctorate in Leadership in Teaching and Learning from Missouri Baptist University.
Dr. Samantha Smith Ed.D
Assistant Principal, MRH High School
Dr. Samantha Smith comes to MRH from Gateway STEM High School in St. Louis, where she served as assistant principal and academic instructional coach. Her classroom experience includes teaching freshman literature and composition, 9th grade English, and World Literature. She holds several degrees: a BS in Education from the University of Missouri and an MA in Educational Leadership and Doctorate in Educational Administration, both from Maryville University.
Director of Student Services
Vince Estrada has been director of student services since 2001, after working as the MRH social worker for six years. Vince holds a bachelor's from Marquette University and a master's in education from Harvard University. He and his wife, Christy, have three children.
Special School District - Special Education Administrator
Ben Gleason joined MRH in July 2015. From 2008-2015 he was a Special Education Area Coordinator in the Mehlville School District. Prior to becoming an administrator, he was a Speech-Language Pathologist. He earned a B.A. in Psychology from The University of Kansas, an M.A. in Communication Disorders and Speech Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and an Ed.S. in Educational Administration from Webster University. Ben and his wife have three children.