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Welcome Letter

Karen HallWelcome to Maplewood Richmond Heights. Our schools form a gem of a district in the greater St. Louis region – a public school system offering its students a private school education.

Central to our mission is the statement that we will inspire and prepare students as leaders, scholars, stewards and citizens. We call these four concepts “the cornerstones” of our district – scholarship, leadership, stewardship, and citizenship.

At MRH, we value highly qualified teachers, personalized service, academic rigor, technology for 21st century learning, diversity, and outstanding facilities. Having these has been critical to our progress, but at the heart of our improvement is the strong ties MRH has with the community. Our partnership with both cities, its residents, and local businesses is a model for others.

I look forward to continuing the successes the district has achieved and building upon the strong foundation we have already created together.

Sincerely,
Karen I. Hall
Superintendent

I invite you to learn more about our schools and programs:

About Karen I. Hall
Karen Hall took the helm as Superintendent at Maplewood Richmond Heights School District in July 2012, following 19 years as an educator and administrator in both Maplewood Richmond Heights School District (Assistant Superintendent) and the Pattonville School District where she was the principal at Willow Brook Elementary School.  Before that, she worked as an elementary school assistant principal in both Pattonville and Ritenour School Districts and a teacher in the Kirkwood School District. Karen 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.

Superintendent Hall believes fervently in diversity and inclusive education. In January 2013, she received the Outstanding Administrator Award from the Missouri State Thespians Association.  MRH teachers and students who performed in the High School’s play, The Laramie Project, nominated Hall. Former MRH High School student Cassidy Snyder wrote in the nomination: "Karen Hall has been an adamant supporter from the beginning. Her support was what made the show possible...when protesters from Westboro Baptist Church arrived; she was on the front steps, defending us through a megaphone.”

Hall is committed and passionate about ensuring educational excellence for all MRH students. She is dedicated to developing rich learning experiences in schools so that students develop leadership skills, are actively engaged in the community, have opportunities to explore social justice issues, and have access to artistic self-exploration balanced with academic rigor. In 2012, Karen directed her administrators to implement the Public Education Leadership Project, PELP, from Harvard University. The implementation of the PELP model’s systemic thinking is changing the achievement, alignment, and sustainability within the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District. The work is moving forward to close the achievement gap and ensure that all students achieve at higher levels.

Karen Hall’s passion for educational equity and excellence drives her relationships and leadership.  She is committed to continuing the success of the district and building upon the strong foundation the community has created together.

 

 

MRH’s Letter to the Community Regarding Charlottesville, VA

August 23, 2017

A message to our families from Maplewood Richmond Heights School District Superintendent Karen I. Hall, re: Charlottesville, VA

A cozy, idyllic American town, centered around a progressive and welcoming educational institution.  A close-knit fabric of schoolmates, parents and guardians, merchants, civic and faith leaders.  An entrenched sense of mutual respect, tolerance, and the basic right of all humans to be treated with dignity.

All of these qualities are hallmarks of the cities of Maplewood and Richmond Heights.  But they also might describe Charlottesville, Virginia, which, when it isn’t being marauded by those who reject notions of equality, is not unlike the communities in which we live, and that’s what brings the tragedy too close to home. 

For many Americans it was unsettling and heartbreaking to witness the images of inequality fueled by brute and unfettered rage, and the unforgivable loss of life.  Many are asking themselves, do we shield ourselves and our children from these stark displays of inhumanity or do we stand up on behalf of the oppressed?

The advent of an exciting new academic year provides the perfect opportunity to remind our families that the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District has a long, proud tradition of proactively confronting some of society’s most vexing moral and political issues.   

In February, the MRH Board of Education passed a landmark resolution which declared that:

 - We believe all people, regardless of their race, color, religion, sex, national                                 origin, ancestry, disability, age, sexual orientation and/or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, or any other individual characteristic – deserve to be respected and appreciated.

- We seek to overcome the social, cultural, and educational barriers that members of our diverse population may experience through advocacy, community engagement, and professional development.

 - We believe we must directly confront issues of diversity and social justice in order to alleviate the inequitable practices and outcomes these issues spawn.

What’s more, MRH applies its four educational cornerstones to not only mold tomorrow’s leaders, but to shape their development in these formative but often turbulent years.

  • Scholarship:  promoting academic rigor to develop the problem-solvers of the future.
  • Leadership:  instilling skills that will last a lifetime, including the ability to influence others with positive messages of fairness and equality.
  • Stewardship:  demonstrating that we are one human family charged with caring for the world which sustains us.
  • Citizenship:  ensuring that our students grow into adults with strong senses of social justice and cultural awareness.

Fostering a safe atmosphere and promoting open discussion can not happen without swift and unequivocal action to address injustices head-on.  Only through a decisive, focused response will we help our students and staff process these difficult events.  On this, the cusp of our new school year, that is one of our primary aims: to act now in readiness for the crises of the future.

The MRH community is known nationally as a shining example of inclusiveness and diversity.  Together, with our community partners, we can sew up the wounds of embedded injustice in our own backyard and… just maybe… serve as an example for other great American cities such as Charlottesville, Virginia.

Our very mission says it all:  to “inspire and prepare students as leaders, scholars, stewards, and citizens for a diverse and changing world.” 

We are thrilled to have our students and staff back in the classrooms.  Here’s to the promise of a new year inspired by the quest for social justice and educational equity.

Sincerely,

Karen I. Hall
Superintendent

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