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A Concluded Search Welcome Dr. Jeff Arnett

After a year-long search consisting of extensive interviews and background reviews, KSD announced Dr. Jeff Arnett as KSD’s new superintendent Jan. 13. With the assistance of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA), a consultant firm, the Kirkwood School Board (KSB) concluded their search. Throughout the process Darnel Frost, KSB president, served as a driving force in the selection of the superintendent.

Photos by Maddie Hawes and Zac Clingenpeel

“When we asked the students and community what they wanted in a superintendent, Arnett’s profile is what we were looking for,” Frost said. “He’s an excellent communicator and it will be great for the students here in our district.”

"He's finally coming home."

Arnett received a bachelor’s degree in Education and Communications from Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri, master’s degree from Lindenwood University, an education specialist degree from Western Illinois University and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix. In the beginning of his educational career, Arnett taught first grade for the Fort Zumwalt School District in St. Peters, MO. From Fort Zumwalt, Arnett served as an administrator at both Pattonville and Rockwood school districts. Due to Arnett’s educational experiences, Chad Kavanaugh, KSB member, said he knew Arnett would bring success to KSD.

“Kirkwood is a top one high school district with a great community who is very supportive,” Kavanaugh said. “He[Arnett] comes from a history of high-ranked school districts and he likes that pressure and challenge of maintaining that achievement.”

Photo by Megan Cleveland

After he left the Rockwood School District and St. Louis in 2001, Arnett was invited to serve an administrative position with the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Although Arnett left public education for seven years, he still collaborated with schools and teachers on a national spectrum to help them integrate baseball and American history into the classroom. In 2008, Arnett returned to the Midwest and found a new position as an administrator in the Barrington School District in northern Chicago. Eight years later, Arnett was offered a position at Eanes School District in Austin, TX, and has been serving as the deputy superintendent since 2016.

“He has worked with many successful school districts and is very familiar with the St. Louis area,” Frost said. “He’s finally coming home.”

In the fall of 2017, HYA contacted Arnett, asking him to apply as the superintendent for KSD. Due to his extensive knowledge of St. Louis and the metropolitan area, Arnett, along with 37 potential candidates, submitted credentials and applied for the superintendent position. During the search, Arnett had multiple interviews and discussions to determine if he would be the right fit for KSD. After he was evaluated, KSB invited Arnett to come to Kirkwood to have separate conversations.

Image curtesy of Ginger Cayce

“At times, those conversations were intense and long, but they were always energizing for me because it provided the opportunity for us to discuss the wonderful accomplishments that are happening at Kirkwood,” Arnett said. “With each meeting we had, it occurred to me that Kirkwood is the perfect fit for my experiences and I hope that I will be the perfect fit for its needs.”

Credits:

Created with images by Beatriz Pérez Moya - "Folder stack"

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