Superintendents from eight area school districts met Friday at the Washington School District administration office.

Washington Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer said the meeting was very productive.

Superintendents from Union, St. Clair, Meramec Valley, Sullivan, Spring Bluff, New Haven, Lonedell and Strain-Japan attended.

The first item on the agenda was a discussion with State Reps. Paul Curtman and Dave Hinson.

VanLeer said the legislators discussed their areas of expertise, bills they were sponsoring and their committee work.

“We discussed education issues and ultimately learned how each of them would like to be informed by the group when education issues come to the forefront,” she said. “Both were very open to listen, shared their views and seemed to welcome our input.”

Next, Gretchen Pettet, East Central College executive director of work force development, talked to the superintendents about the Certified Work Ready Communities Initiative.

The statewide initiative links work force development to education; aligns the economic development needs of communities, regions and the state; and also matches appropriate applicants to jobs based on skill levels.

“Gretchen presented information about Franklin County becoming a work force ready community and what that entailed,” VanLeer said. “This is the same presentation she is sharing with community groups, chambers, employers and others.”

Superintendents asked her about the work keys assessments and the certificate validity, she said.

“We also discussed the reasons why Franklin County should achieve ‘work force ready’ designation,” she said. “There are a number of reasons, from economic development and competitiveness, to customized training and otherwise.”

The superintendents also sat down with Franklin County Clerk Debbie Door who talked about polling places in the school districts represented.

“We discussed various options, from not using schools as polling places to security improvements,” VanLeer said. “Debbie cares about our students and requested a meeting with us to discuss solutions. We appreciated her sincerity.”