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Fox schools announce shake-up at the top

Fox schools announce shake-up at the top

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ARNOLD • A shake-up in the top ranks of the Fox School District, including re-assignments of some administrators, was announced at its board meeting Tuesday night.

Jim Wipke was named in November as the district’s new superintendent. He is coming from the Rockwood district and will take over July 1.

Tim Crutchley, who has been serving as interim superintendent since this summer and is assistant superintendent of school services, said he would retire at the end of the year.

“I am not retiring because I don’t want to work with Dr. Wipke,” Crutchley stressed.

Ryan Sherp, assistant principal of Lindbergh High School, will become the new Fox High School principal. Kevin Rossiter, the current principal, is retiring and getting a payout through the district’s voluntary separation agreement that gives departing employees half their salary. He earns $150,428. His payout will be $75,214 — the largest approved thus far, according to district documents.

Todd Scott, the district’s assistant superintendent of human resources, will take over as principal of Seckman High School. He’ll replace Donald Grimshaw, who is also leaving with a payout. Grimshaw earns $149,741, so he’ll get $74,870.

Kelly Bracht, an evaluation coordinator in the Fergson-Florissant district, will fill Scott’s role.

Dan Baker, the assistant superintendent of elementary education who is named as a defendant in a libel lawsuit filed by district critics, will become principal of Seckman Elementary. He has been interim principal since January. Teachers and other staff at the school applauded news of his placement and spoke in support, but Rich Simpson, one of the plaintiffs in the suit, decried it as wrong.

And Gail Jones, who heads the food services program in the Dunklin School District, will take over Fox’s nutrition program. Kelly Nash, an assistant McDonald’s manager and daughter-in-law of a former board president, left the job recently with a settlement of more than $20,000.

No salary information on the new postings was available late Tuesday.

The board also approved on Tuesday about $345,000 in additional payouts to 14 employees who want to leave. That’s in addition to 94 district employees who have already signed up for a retirement incentive for a cost of about $2.7 million.

More employees are expected to take buyouts under that policy, which district officials say will save money in salaries in future years.

Among those who have decided to take a payout to leave is Andy Arbeitman, the district’s assistant superintendent of elementary education. He began working for the district July 1, 2013, and his salary is $133,495, according to district documents. He will leave with a $66,747 payout.

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