Board of Education
The Maplewood Richmond Heights School District is organized and governed by a seven-member Board of Education pursuant to Chapter 162 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, as amended. The voters of the district elect the directors of the Board for three-year staggered terms, with two directors elected in two successive years and three directors elected every three years. All directors are elected at-large and serve without compensation. The Board of Education is responsible for all policy decisions. The president of the board is elected by the board from among its members for a term of one year and has no regular administrative duties.
The Board's regular monthly meetings (third Thursday of each month) will be posted on this page for later viewing (see “Meeting Archives” section below).
Notices and agenda are posted before every meeting at the Central Administrative Office, 7539 Manchester Road, and on Board Docs. Minutes from meetings are also posted at that link.
Monthly meetings typically begin at 7:00 p.m. with a public forum. PUBLIC FORUM IS ONLY AVAILABLE DURING THE BOARD'S MEETING ON THE THIRD THURSDAY OF EACH MONTH.
At this time, Board meetings are taking place via Zoom video conference due to the ongoing pandemic. If you'd like to contribute spoken comments during the public forum section of the next monthly Board meeting, click the "Sign Up Now" button below. After clicking the button, you will be asked to provide your first and last name as well as your email address and phone number.
On the day of the meeting, you will receive via email a link to join only the public forum portion of the meeting. The name which appears on the Zoom video conference must match the name or phone number you submitted. Comments will be presented in the order received and are limited to three minutes per person, with a maximum time limit of 15 minutes for the entire public forum period. You may also submit comments to the Board by email at any time: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Miss a meeting? Use these links to watch them:
For all prior meetings, click here.
MRH Board policies are in place to give the district operational guidelines. Policies ensure that the district functions in accordance with state and federal law. The Board of Education refers to the policies as it makes decisions for the district.
All MRH board policies may be accessed and searched by keyword at Policy Online.
To send written correspondence to a Board of Education member, send it to that member's attention to: MRH School District, 7539 Manchester Road, Maplewood, MO 63143.
The Nelson Mitten Scholarship Fund
The Nelson Mitten Scholarship is named in honor of Maplewood Richmond Heights Board of Education (BOE) emeritus director, Nelson Mitten. For more than two decades on the BOE, Mitten’s service and contributions were exemplary. He successfully helped steer the District out of financial and academic hardship, was a tireless advocate of early childhood education and a staunch defender of public funding for schools. When he stepped down from the Board of Education in 2019, the former Cornerstone Scholarship was renamed for him. Mr. Mitten’s favorite quote is “The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”
The Nelson Mitten Scholarship is awarded to seniors who embrace the four MRH Cornerstones: Citizenship, Scholarship, Stewardship, and Leadership. Each scholarship is $500 and is designed to be used for an educational expense (tuition, fees, books, etc.) and will be paid directly to the scholar’s college, university, community college, vocational or trade school.
Here’s a short video of the 2020 recipients describing what the Mitten Scholarship meant for them.
To donate electronically to the 2021 Nelson Mitten Scholarship Fund, please click HERE.
For individuals who prefer to send a check, please make checks payable to “MRH” with “Mitten Scholarship” on the memo line. Send them to:
Maplewood Richmond Heights School District
Attn: Nelson Mitten Scholarship Fund
7539 Manchester Road
Saint Louis, MO 63143
Thank you for your investment in the MRH educational mission!
Director (term expires April 2024
A Richmond Heights resident since 2001, Rachel and her partner, Paul Swier, are raising two children in the MRH School District. She has an undergraduate degree from Boston University, a Master of Arts in Social Work from Washington University and a 2-year post-graduate certification in mental health therapy. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker for 15 years, including running her own business, she is currently an Office Manager at a local small business. With 22 years of volunteer experience across a variety of areas, including domestic violence awareness, Girl Scouts, youth sports and cancer fundraising, Rachel continues to serve her community through district and volunteer opportunities.
Director (term expires April 2024
Amber Withycombe is the Director of Institutional Giving for the Saint Louis Art Museum, where she oversees corporate, foundation, and government partnerships. She previously held senior fundraising, marketing and management roles in arts administration and higher education and has worked for public university systems in California, Nevada, Iowa, Virginia and Missouri. She serves on the City of Maplewood’s planning and zoning commission and as a volunteer for MapleGOOD, and she co-led an MRH Girl Scout troop. Amber and her partner, Joshua Kryah, have lived in the district since 2013 with their two children, Eavan and Ansel.
Vice President (term expires April 2023)
Katie Kaufmann joined the Board of Education in April 2014. She is currently the Director of St. Louis Ready by 21, a collective impact approach to improving outcomes for children and youth across St. Louis City, St. Louis County and St. Charles County. Katie began her career as a middle school math teacher and department chair at Lift for Life Academy in the City of St. Louis. She has eight years of experience in nonprofit leadership and management with expertise and passion around developing the talent of others and leveraging the expertise of diverse constituents. Katie and her husband have been residents of Richmond Heights since 2006.
Treasurer (term expires April 2023)
A resident of the MRH district for over twelve years, Francis Chmelir lives in Maplewood with his wife Beth, their daughter Emma, and sons William and Paul, who are both MRH students. Francis Chmelir currently serves as the Director of Operations for Lashback, LLC, an innovative tech company delivering unique and actionable insights in the world of email marketing. Francis has a deep history of contributing to the growth of scalable, technology companies. Most recently Francis served as the Executive Director for ITEN, a catalyst of the tech startup ecosystem in the St. Louis region. Previous professional roles include serving as Director of Operations and a founding member of the Technology Entrepreneur Center (TEC) incubator and the Statewide Director for MoFAST, a part of the University of Missouri system program for technology commercialization. In 2016, Francis was named a St. Louis Business Journal 40-under-40 honoree and selected to be a member of the 41st Leadership St. Louis class of Focus St. Louis. St. Louis Small Business Monthly named Francis one of the “100 St. Louisans You Should Know” in 2017. Francis has been involved in the district in numerous ways, including serving on the long-range planning committee. His educational background includes a bachelor’s degree from Saint Louis University with an emphasis on organizational psychology, and graduate work at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and University of Missouri-Columbia. Since 2016, he has also served on the board of Joe's Place, an MRH-affiliated residence for homeless young men.
Secretary (term expires April 2023)
Maria Langston began her first term on the Board of Education in April 2008 with years of experience working on behalf of the MRH School District. She served as president of the Early Childhood Center PTO for three years, and has served as parent representative on the Teaching and Learning Council, the Academic Calendar Committee and in the Comprehensive School Improvement Program planning process. She and her husband, Mark, are the parents of two MRH students. Together, they were named the district's "Family of the Year" in 2007. Maria is the Assistant Vice President and Community Development Officer, St. Louis Community Credit Union.
President (term expires April 2022)
Brandi Herndon-Miller is a lifelong resident of the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District. She is a family and criminal law attorney with offices in Clayton. She graduated from Mary Institute/ Country Day School and also attended Xavier University, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she obtained her law degree. Herndon-Miller has two daughters attending MRH and has long been active in district affairs.