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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.

Board Meetings

The next scheduled meeting of the MRH Board of Education is 6:00 pm on Thursday, October 22. 

The Board has resumed holding monthly meetings in-person but without members of the public present. This restriction conforms with Health Department guidelines for in-person gatherings. The Board and staff in attendance must wear a face mask at all times.

The public may still watch the meetings live via this YouTube link. The meetings will also 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. If you'd like to send written comments to the public forum section of the next monthly Board meeting, please click here. Those comments will be read by the secretary to the Board of Education during the meeting. Comments submitted before 4:30 p.m. on the day of the meeting will be included in that evening’s meeting. The comment field has an 850-character maximum. The total maximum time allotted for a public forum will be 15 minutes. You will be notified if your submission arrives after the maximum time limit has been reached. You may also submit comments to the Board by email at any time: schoolreentry@mrhschools.net. Public forum is only available during the Board's meeting on the third Thursday of each month.

Meeting Archives

Miss a monthly meeting? Use these links to watch them:

October 15 Monthly Meeting

September 17 Monthly meeting

September 17 Tax Rate Hearing

September 10, 2020

September 3, 2020

August 27, 2020

August 20, 2020

August 11, 2020

August 6, 2020

Board Policies

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.

Board Members

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.

Board Messages to the Community

October 26, 2020

Dear Maplewood Richmond Heights School District families and community,

The MRH Board of Education is announcing today that Dr. Karen I. Hall will take leave from the superintendency for the remainder of the 2020-2021 academic year. Dr. Hall submitted to the Board a leave request for personal reasons, which we then approved last Thursday. This Board wishes Dr. Hall the very best in her next endeavors.

In the meantime, the current assistant superintendent, Roxanna Mechem, will serve as acting superintendent. Her new duties begin immediately. As the primary stakeholders in the District, you can be confident in Ms. Mechem’s leadership ability. She is well-versed in the daily operations of the District and will provide strong leadership until a permanent successor to Dr. Hall is in place. Ms. Mechem enjoys the support of an exceptional Central Office team and outstanding principals. In her career, she has served as a middle school and high school teacher, instructional coach, curriculum coordinator, assessment director, and assistant superintendent. Ms. Mechem 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. Be assured, your students are in highly capable hands.

Our search for a successor to Dr. Hall remains on track. The executive search firm contracted by the MRH Board of Education, HYA & Associates, will continue its work on the established timeline to identify our next permanent superintendent. The succession plan developed by Dr. Hall will be a crucial part of that process; she will continue to play a role in it.

In a year filled with transitions and challenges, we want to assure our families that our mission remains unchanged: to inspire and prepare your children to become tomorrow’s leaders, scholars, stewards and citizens. 

We wish the very best to all of our families, the most important partners in our educational mission.

The Maplewood Richmond Heights School District Board of Education

Katie Kaufmann, President; Francis Chmelir, Vice President; Maria Langston, Secretary; Wesley Robb, Treasurer; Ralph Posley, Director; Brandi Herndon-Miller, Director; Nikylan Knapper, Director

October 23, 2020

To the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District community,

The MRH Board of Education is deeply grateful for the input we’ve received about the school reentry process from our many stakeholders. You have demonstrated once again how deeply you care for the growth and safety of our learners and for those charged with their development and wellbeing. We share those concerns.

The Board and District administration take very seriously our duty to preserve the safety of students, families and staff. We are collaborating, closely and frequently. Optimism and momentum are building as we strive to provide measures of clarity and certainty about the next phase of instruction at MRH. 

While we navigate this world of non-traditional instruction, we are offering support systems to bolster students and parents/guardians who are struggling to adapt. Here are just a few: 

  • We are providing on-site, small-group interventions for all grade levels. 

  • Counselors and teachers are making socially-distanced home visits. 

  • Teachers are offering after-hours “homework help” sessions. 

  • The Special School District is launching an on-site clinic next week to complete previously scheduled assessments and testing.

  • School Nutrition Services is expanding its meal program to include ALL youngsters in our area, not just those enrolled at MRH. 

  • The MRH Tech Desk has streamlined its procedures, making it easier for families to get learning devices repaired or replaced.

  • Social-emotional support sessions are available from our school counselors and social workers for families facing challenges.

  • Weekend on Wheels (WOW) has begun the process of resuming its food delivery program.

To access these resources, contact your building principal(s) or call 314-644-4400. 

Additionally, we are developing a COVID-19 dashboard. This will be an online resource based on data and specific metrics which will provide a weekly snapshot and trending information regarding viral presence within MRH ranks. We will announce specifics of our return to in-person learning plans in the coming weeks.

Please make time to view the Board of  Education’s October 22 meeting via this link. We think you will find that the meeting resulted in a cohesive, focused blueprint for moving forward. 

Our best wishes to all MRH families,

The Maplewood Richmond Heights School District Board of Education

Katie Kaufmann, President; Francis Chmelir, Vice President; Maria Langston, Secretary; Wesley Robb, Treasurer; Ralph Posley, Director; Brandi Herndon-Miller, Director; Nikylan Knapper, Director

September 18, 2020

A Message to the Community from the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District Board of Education:

The MRH Board of Education (BOE) is keenly sensitive to the complex and emotionally wrenching circumstances which the COVID-19 threat has thrust into every aspect of our lives for half a year now. Today, as school districts all across the region grapple with the decision-making process behind bringing kids back into school buildings, the MRH BOE would like to share insights with all community members related to data and timing for reaching such a decision in the future. 

The tier change question is taken extremely seriously by the BOE. Any tier transition would not be immediate and would likely take up to four weeks to implement due to the necessary preparations. During that time, the District would continue to monitor conditions very carefully. 

No tier change will be considered until BOE members complete a thorough analysis of the following factors:  

  • COVID-19 tracking data (trends, demographics, etc.) from the St. Louis County Department of Health 

  • Guidance from EducationPlus, a support agency for public school systems in our region  

  • Input from building principals; staff sentiment

  • Availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) and usage by staff and students

  • Transportation plan for children on District buses

  • Environmental safety review for re-occupied buildings/classrooms 

  • Tier-change approaches by nearby Districts

  • Plan for handling a positive case or potential outbreak in a building 

  • Superintendent’s recommendation to the BOE for action to be taken based on this input 

The BOE is meeting in open sessions weekly with Central Office administrators to review up-to-the-minute data as part of the tier change consideration process and we commit to clear communication with the community on when a vote to change tier would take place.  No matter how instruction is delivered to our students, we remain a strong MRH community that is making the best of the current situation and is planning proactively for a hopeful future.

Throughout the course of this crisis, District staff, students and families have demonstrated remarkable resilience, adaptability and patience. The effort to build effective remote learning systems has been monumental in scope. Our stakeholders have responded with optimism, faith and trust in MRH leadership. The BOE could not be more grateful for this outpouring of community support. 

Sincerely,

Maplewood Richmond Heights School District Board of Education

Photograph of Katie Kaufmann

Katie Kaufmann

President (term expires April 2023)

(314) 313-5670

katie.kaufmann@mrhschools.net

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.

Photograph of Francis Chmelir

Francis Chmelir

Vice President (term expires April 2023)

(314) 644-6977

francis.chmelir@mrhschools.net

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.

Photograph of Wesley Robb

Wesley Robb

Treasurer (term expires 2021)

(314) 267-0525

wesley.robb@mrhschools.net

Wesley (Wes) Robb, a resident of Maplewood and environmental consultant with Wellington Environmental, has been active in the school district and community for many years. He sat on the City of Maplewood’s Design and Review Board for seven years, and served as its chairman for the last three years. He has also been part of the school district’s Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP) committee, and the last two Long-Range Facilities Study Committees. Wes and his wife, Jackie, have a daughter, Gwen, attending MRH Middle School. He joined the Board of Education in August 2014.

Photograph of Maria Langston

Maria Langston

Secretary (term expires April 2023)

(314) 644-6760

maria.langston@mrhschools.net

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.

Photograph of Nikylan Knapper

Nikylan Knapper

Director (term expires April 2022)

314-644-4400

nikylan.knapper@mrhschools.net

Nikylan Knapper was elected to the Maplewood Richmond Heights School Board on April 2nd, 2019. She is a resident of Maplewood with her husband Sam, 6 year old MRH ECC 1st grader Teddy, twin 2 year olds Lyndon and Grant, and pup Noel. She has served as a Cub Scout leader, an MRH PTO ECC Co-Chair, and a Youth Soccer Coach for MRH Youth Sports. She is a Federal Administrative Judge for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and previously was an attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and an Assistant Public Defender in Nashville, TN.

Photograph of Ralph Posley

Ralph Posley

Director (term expires April 2021)

(314) 645-4993

ralph.posley@mrhschools.net

Ralph E. Posley has been a resident of Richmond Heights for over 25 years. He has been married to his wife, Addie, for 30 years. They have seven children, three of whom attend the MRH Early Childhood Center. One of their three grandchildren, Lily, is enrolled in the Head Start Program at ECC. Ralph has been employed for seven years with Covidian Healthcare Pharmaceuticals as a lab assistant and dispatcher. He is also Pastor of the Word of God Christian Church in Richmond Heights. He was awarded the 2008 Citizen of the Year Award by Unity Pact.

Photograph of Brandi Herndon-Miller

Brandi Herndon-Miller

Director (term expires April 2022)

314-644-4400

brandirherndon@hotmail.com

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.