Two additional pieces of the St. Clair R-XIII leadership puzzle have been put in place as the district works toward getting its administrative team set heading into the 2013-14 academic year. However, at almost the same time, yet another piece of that same puzzle will have to be found and placed.

During the board of education’s March meeting, current R-XIII teacher Ted Koenigsfeld was hired to be the new administrative intern at the high school while Eric Lause was offered the job as the assistant principal at the junior high.

During the same school board meeting, St. Clair Athletic Director Greg Dunigan turned in a letter of resignation effective June 30. Dunigan said he will become a half-time athletic director in the fall.

However, on Tuesday Assistant Superintendent Tanya Vest submitted a letter of resignation effective at the end of the current academic year. Vest has been with the R-XIII district for three years and has been hired by the Laclede County R-I School District as its superintendent.

“It’s for family reasons,” Vest said about the move. “This gets me closer to family in the Springfield area. I felt I needed to do this under the circumstances.”

The Lebanon Daily Record reported in its Tuesday edition that Vest was one of three finalists for the position there after the current superintendent resigned in February.

Laclede school board President Craig Huckaby said Vest’s experience was one of the deciding factors in the board’s choice.

“We’re excited,” Huckaby told The Daily Record. “We think she is going to be a real asset to the school.”

The newspaper reported that Vest was given a two-year contract with a salary of $100,000 each year.

The 52-year-old Vest has been in the education field for 26 years, 17 of which have been as an administrator. Before coming to St. Clair, she served as superintendent of both the Walnut Grove School District starting in 2002 and the East Newton School District (2005). She also served as an assistant superintendent in the Republic School District for three years beginning in 1999.

“I’m excited about getting back into a superintendent’s role,” she said. “It’s (Laclede) is a good, little district, and I’m going into a good situation.”

Vest said the district has about 850 students.


A special board of education meeting has been scheduled for Monday night, where two internal candidates will be considered for Vest’s position, board secretary Joyce Strothcamp told The Missourian. She would not release the names of those individuals.

Monday’s meeting will begin in open session and move into executive session where the two applicants will be discussed. Any votes will have to be taken after that when the meeting moves back into open session.

“St. Clair is a great district and a great place to work,” Vest said. “We have wonderful educators here. If I could scoop them all up and move them with me closer to home I would.

“I just hope I have joined them in being at least a small part of our success in moving forward.”

Filled Positions

Koenigsfeld and Lause, who comes to St. Clair from the Washington School District, are the fourth and fifth individuals to be offered administrative contracts for the upcoming school year.

The merry-go-round started when Kevin Hillman resigned as St. Clair High School principal earlier this year. He was replaced by SCHS Assistant Principal Mike Hunter. Hunter was replaced by current SCJHS Assistant Principal Jeff Hamlett. Lause is replacing Hamlett.

In addition, Edgar Murray Elementary School Principal Kent Sherrow resigned in February. He is being replaced by Assistant Principal Larrinda Witt. Witt’s current position has not yet been filled.

St. Clair R-XIII Superintendent Mike Murphy said the additional administrative position is needed at the high school because both Hunter and Hamlett will be in new positions in the fall. He told The Missourian last month the position is being regarded as temporary.

“The position will be reviewed on an annual basis,” the superintendent said. “Whether we retain it or not will be based on need.”

Vest said Koenigsfeld will help with disciplinary situations as well as assist in other areas so the two principals “can focus more on academics.”

“We need to make sure we stay on track academically, and we think that adding this position would be a good way to ensure that,” she said.

Ted Koenigsfeld

Koenigsfeld, who will turn 37 on March 27, currently teaches at the junior high school and doubles as the varsity boys and girls soccer coach and the archery instructor.

He has taught in the R-XIII school district for seven years and has been a coach that entire time as well.

Before SCJHS, Koenigsfeld was a paraprofessional at Washington West Elementary.

He earned a master’s of education degree from William Woods University in 2009, and prior to that a physical education and exercise science degree from the University of Central Missouri. He also has his education certificate.

“I am very excited about the move,” Koenigsfeld told The Missourian this week. “I look forward to working with the staff and students at the high school. I will be working closely with the other administrators to continue to improve on what they have already done and help the high school in creating a positive learning environment.”

He said there were many things that interested him about the new position.

“One of the main things is getting to work with the team that has been assembled in the office over there already,” Koenigsfeld said. “I think getting to work with Mr. Hunter and Mr. Dunigan and continuing to get to work with Mr. Hamlett is going to be an outstanding opportunity. The experience and knowledge that those gentlemen have will help me adjust in my new position.”

Eric Lause

Lause was principal of South Point Elementary School in Washington from 2003 to 2012. Then, he was reassigned to be the school district’s assistant technology director this past fall.

“I am a successful and proven building principal,” Lause said on his resume. “I have collaboratively and positively led students, parents and staff of both a small and large K-6 elementary school to academic success. I believe in making data-driven decisions to inspire growth with a focus on student achievement while utilizing technological tools to enhance instruction and engagement.”

Murphy was not available for additional comment on any of the positions earlier this week.