Back-to-School Blues for SLPS

National Search Begins for New St. Louis Public Schools Superintendent

St. Louis, MO — The search for the new superintendent of Saint Louis Public Schools (SLPS) is officially underway. On August 24, the Board of Education of the City of St. Louis held its first meeting with Ray & Associates, an organization specializing in school executive leadership searches. The full, seven-member board helped set expectations for an open, transparent, and inclusive process for selecting the next District leader.

The agreed upon timeline (included below) shows an immediate launch, in order to identify a candidate by January 2023. Current superintendent Dr. Kelvin R. Adams will serve through December 31, 2022. In order to support the transition, the Board will soon open applications to select an internal administrator who may be engaged as an interim superintendent at some point in the process.

Board President Matt Davis says, the Board is now focused on attracting top talent, navigating an open

vetting process, and generating public discussion.

“Our plan includes robust public engagement including community survey and over a dozen focus groups with families, faculty, staff, administrators, students, and community members. What we learn through these interviews will then be used to create the search profile.”

Dr. Karen I. Hall, Ray & Associates CEO, Education Leader, and Consultant said, “We are honored to work for such a dedicated and child-centered Board of Education.

The Ray & Associates team is committed to listening to the community’s needs so that we can find the best candidate to serve the teachers, staff, children, and families of Saint Louis Public Schools.”

Davis said, over the next four months, board members will continue to work closely with the search firm. “Ray & Associates was selected from an RFP process that helped us identify the firm that most represented the type of process we envisioned. This team has long held a reputation for recruiting outstanding leaders and we (board) have complete confidence in their ability to lead this most critical search.”

SLPS is the fourth largest district in the state, serving approximately 19,000 students in 41 elementary schools, eight middle schools, 12 high schools and five alternative programs. Davis said that, in addition to finding someone with the skills and credentials for this top spot, the Board identified a set of strengths specific to SLPS, landing on words like inclusion, justice, safety, and equality.

Davis explained, “In addition to the traditional attributes required of a superintendent such as experience, demonstrated integrity and a strong moral code, we need someone who can rally the community ą a cross between a cheerleader and head coach!” He added, “The Board hopes to identify a candidate who can build community wide trust and confidence and lead the effort to attract and retain the best talent available to move our Transformation Plan forward and ensure the success of our students and staff.”

For more information on the search, the Board is establishing a website for the process that will soon be accessible at,

To make it easier for the public to stay engaged in the process, this website will be continuously updated as a central repository for all public information relative to the search.

Ray & Associates, an Iowa based firm specializing in school executive searches since 1975, has established an outstanding reputation for recruiting top candidates who match the expectations of the school board and community.

Their team of professional consultants have years of experience in the school executive search field and extensive backgrounds as administrators, business executives, school board members, university professors, and attorneys. Ray & Associates has been recognized by “The School Administrator” journal as one of the top search firms in the country.


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