From curriculum and teacher training to buildings, budgets, cafeterias and transportation, the Meramec Valley R-III School District will start the 2018-19 school year in August with a new administrative team.

Officials learned recently that both assistant superintendents, Dr. Terri Parks and Dr. Jeremy Way, will leave the district at the end of this school year.

Parks and Way have been serving as co-interim superintendents following the retirement of interim superintendent Dr. Ed Hillhouse for health reasons in December 2017.

Their replacements will join Dr. John Mulford who begins his role as school superintendent in August 2018. This means an all-new administrative team will be in place for the new school year.

Parks Retiring

Parks, who currently serves as assistant superintendent in charge of curriculum, announced last week that she would retire at the close of the second semester in May.

“At the board of education meeting last night I tendered my retirement notification effective June 30, 2018,” Parks said in a letter to staff and parents.

“This decision was a bittersweet one, but one that ultimately is the right decision for my family and me,” she stated. “I have been very blessed to have the opportunity that I have had for the last six years here at MVR-III and wanted to say thank you to all those who have believed in, supported, and worked tirelessly for doing what’s best for kids.

“Come July when I enter the next chapter of my story I will certainly cherish all the growth and accomplishments that we have made together as a community dedicated to teaching and learning,” she added.

“In the words of Randy George . . . ‘I will always remember where I came from’ these last six years,” she said. “My continued promise to each of you is to finish strong through June 30 and to set the stage for Dr. Mulford to find nothing but success here at MVR-III. He is joining an excellent school district.”

Parks is completing 25 years in public education, including 19 with the Sullivan School District and six with MVR-III.

She said she’s looking forward to spending more time with her husband of 30 years, their three children and their families, including four grandchildren.

“I’m looking forward to finding my significance in the next chapter in my life,” Parks said.

Way Moving On

Way serves as assistant superintendent in charge of building services, including tracking the number of students, maintaining buildings and operation of cafeterias and transportation.

He has brought a new focus on bullying, including creating a hotline that allowed students at Meramec Valley Middle School, Riverbend and Pacific High School to tell someone in confidence that they were being bullied.

The program was designed to change the way students were treated by their peers, Way said, when he started the program in September 2014.

He modeled the hotline after one he put in place when he was with Warren County High School.

Way announced Jan. 25 that he was leaving Meramec Valley to join another district. He also will leave at the end of the school year.

“I am leaving the district at the end of June. I accepted another position and was approved by their board of education Tuesday night,” Way said.

A search is underway to select replacements for the two administrators. (See separate story.)