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Suburban Journals


ARNOLD  •  The former superintendent of De Soto schools, who left with a $208,000 settlement when he resigned last year, has been hired as assistant superintendent of instruction for the Fox School District.

Andy Arbeitman will be paid $136,000 in his new post, according to the district.

His position is part of a reorganization of responsibilities among administrators. His duties will include instruction, public relations and helping with the budget, said Fox Superintendent Dianne Critchlow.

“He was everyone’s top choice,” Critchlow said. “He brings a wealth of information and experience.”

The Fox School Board voted unanimously in closed session last month to give him a one-year contract. He will begin his new job July 1, Critchlow said.

Arbeitman’s settlement with the De Soto district gave him $193,510, or 13 months’ salary, and his resignation took effect shortly after the agreement was signed Nov. 1. He got an additional $14,879 for unused vacation, sick leave and personal days.

Under the agreement, the district also agreed to limit all responses to “employment related inquiries” about Arbeitman to position held, dates of employment and last salary earned.

The De Soto School Board voted 6-0 on May 29 in favor of putting Arbeitman on paid leave, in part, after an anonymous letter that voiced concerns about him was sent to district officials.

A group called “Concerned De Soto Citizens” that described itself as a group of “patrons, parents and employees” wrote a letter dated May 7 to the school board complaining about Arbeitman.

The letter alleged that he disregarded school policy by changing the sick leave policy for staff and did not discipline a student who brought a knife to school, had no regard for confidentiality, took credit for all successes within the district, asked staff members to spy on each other, and looked at his phone every few seconds instead of giving people his full attention.

The anonymous letter-writers were also upset that his wife “got in an exclusive birthday club with select teachers” at Athena Elementary School.

Critchlow said Arbeitman talked about what happened in De Soto, and she said her district is lucky to get him.

“Their loss is our gain,” she said.

Leah Thorsen is a regional reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Email her at and follow her on Twitter: @leahthorsen

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