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January 13, 2012


MRH School District Announces the Retirement of Superintendent Linda Henke

Dr. Linda HenkeThe Maplewood Richmond Heights School District announces today that Dr. Linda Henke, superintendent of schools since 2000, will retire effective June 30, 2012. Dr. Henke will continue to lead the district through the remainder of the 2011-2012 academic year and will help facilitate the transition to the next superintendent. Current MRH Assistant Superintendent Karen Hall will be promoted to the position of superintendent upon Dr. Henke’s retirement and Roxanna Mechem, current MRH Middle School reading teacher and instructional specialist, will replace Karen Hall as assistant superintendent.

“The Maplewood and Richmond Heights communities have benefited tremendously from Linda’s vision and leadership,” says Board of Education President Maria Langston. “Linda has been an exemplary superintendent who has earned the respect and admiration of the entire MRH community.  She will be deeply missed.”

“Working with the members of the community, students, administration, faculty and staff has been a wonderfully invigorating experience,” says Dr. Henke. “It has been an honor to serve the students and families of Maplewood and Richmond Heights.”

Dr. Henke joined MRH in July 2000. Prior to that she served as teacher, curriculum coordinator, director, principal and assistant superintendent in both Iowa and Missouri, including serving as assistant superintendent for the Clayton School District for ten years before coming to MRH. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, was recognized by University of Iowa for outstanding research, and received one of six excellence in scholarship awards from the American Association of School Administrators in 1990.

During her time at MRH Dr. Henke worked with the community to transform the once struggling district into one that is respected regionally and nationally for its innovation. During the 12 years the district:

  • Created and implemented creative programs to support enhanced student learning.
  • Earned the highest score of 14 on the state’s Annual Performance Report (2010 and 2011).
  • Improved and upgraded all of the facilities throughout the district.
  • Engaged the community in creating and implementing the district’s mission and vision.
  • Increased attendance 15% within the district.

“The Board of Education is committed to continuing the many strengths Linda has cultivated in our schools,” says Langston. “We feel one of our jobs as board members is to provide a smooth leadership transition for the district.

“When we hired Assistant Superintendent Karen Hall four years ago we knew she could become our next superintendent,” Langston continued. “We feel the best way to further our goals and maintain our current path of excellence is for Karen to assume the superintendent’s position. She has been an integral component of the many successes here at MRH.”

“Linda has been a great mentor for my past four years at Maplewood Richmond Heights,” says Hall. “It has been a tremendous honor to learn from Linda and work along side her in building and transforming this wonderful school district.”

Hall began serving as MRH's assistant superintendent in July 2008. She came from the Pattonville School District, where she served as the principal of Willow Brook Elementary. Previous to that, she worked as an elementary school assistant principal in both the Pattonville and Ritenour School Districts and as a teacher in the Kirkwood School District. Hall has her Ed.S. from Lindenwood University and is currently pursuing her doctorate of educational leadership.  She has a master’s degree in educational administration from Saint Louis University and a bachelor’s degree in education from Fontbonne University.

"We have great community support, wonderful students, and caring teachers here at MRH,” says Hall. “I look forward to continuing the successes that Linda has achieved with the district and building upon the strong foundation we have already created together.”

The MRH Board of Education will also promote Roxanna Mechem, current Middle School reading teacher and instructional specialist to the assistant superintendent position.  Mechem started with MRH in August 2011 and was formerly with the Rockwood and Union School Districts. In her career, Mechem has served as a curriculum coordinator, instructional coach, and assessment director. 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.

"I am thrilled to be part of such an innovative and student centered school district, where the entire MRH community is committed to providing the highest quality education. I welcome the opportunity, as an MRH team member, to champion educational innovation and excellence for the benefit of all of our students and the larger community," says Mechem.

Special Message from Superintendent Linda Henke

Special Message from the MRH Board of Education

For more information, contact MRH School District at (314) 644-4400.