The Union R-XI School Board approved the transition of several building level administrators, and will implement a realignment to the roles of the assistant superintendents.

Central Elementary Principal Aaron Jones was named as the replacement for Assistant Superintendant Dr. Jennifer Hope who will retire June 30.

“With the movement of Mr. Jones, the building level leadership will also see changes again designed to maximize individual leadership skills and building level opportunities,” Superintendent Steve Bryant wrote in a memo to district employees.

Jones has worked in the district since 2006 and has been the principal at both Central and Clark-Vitt elementary schools.

Beaufort Elementary School Principal Mark Spann and Union Middle School Assistant Principal Leslie Lause will be co-principals for Central Elementary.

Central Elementary Assistant Principal Monica Assareh will be taking the role of lead principal at the Beaufort Elementary, Bryant added.

According to Bryant, the needs of a district this size may change as the student population, community, district leadership, or instructional needs change.

Bryant noted that the assistant superintendent positions will be realigned to a more traditional design with an assistant superintendent of instructional services, Jones; and an assistant superintendent of ancillary services, Dr. Judy Stivers.

“Additionally, we believe that the group dynamic created by the forward movement of these changes and our progress within these changes create the need for less change rather than more outside forces,” he said. “To that end, we have strived to capitalize on our internal talent rather than looking outside.”

Bryant explained that the district is considering an administrative internship program to replace or establish the roles of assistant principals at Beaufort, Central, Clark-Vitt, and Middle School.

Hope Retires

Hope has more than 20 years of experience as an educator. She began her career in the R-XI district as Central Elementary principal in 2002.

“Jennifer has been a great asset to this district and it has been our pleasure have the privilege to work with her,” Bryant wrote to district employees. “While all of us realize the tremendous impact that Jennifer has made in her home district, we wish her well as she moves into retirement and bigger (if not better) endeavors in her future.”

Hope began her career in education in Sullivan as a second-grade teacher and a special education instructor.

She also was a principal in the Washington district, at Fifth Street and Labadie Elementary schools, prior to coming to work for the Union district.

She began her role as an assistant superintendent in 2005.

Hope, a Union native and member of the Union High School graduating Class of 1984, holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in elementary administration from what is now Missouri State University in Springfield. She received her doctorate in educational leadership from St. Louis University.