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Francis Howell Board of Education Approves New Superintendent

Posted 02/04/16

After an extensive national search, meetings with staff, and input from patrons, the Francis Howell School District (FHSD) Board of Education voted unanimously to hire Dr. Mary Hendricks-Harris as the next superintendent of schools beginning July 1, 2016. The Board approved Dr. Hendricks-Harris’s three-year contract at a special Board meeting on Feb. 4, 2016.


“The Board is looking forward to having Dr. Hendricks-Harris at the helm and will work with her to ensure we continue to provide an excellent education for the children of our community at an exceptional value to our taxpayers,” said Board of Education President Mark Lafata.


As superintendent, Dr. Hendricks-Harris plans to focus on student learning and the finances to support learning. “As we look to the future, I am confident we will come together as a community and secure the resources students need to get the best possible education and that our teachers need to do their work,” said Dr. Hendricks-Harris. “I am looking forward to serving as superintendent of the Francis Howell School District and continuing the tradition of excellence that our community expects.”


Dr. Hendricks-Harris has served FHSD as Chief Academic Officer since 2010 where she has led school improvement and the academic support systems. She began her career with the District in 2006 as the Director of Adult Learning and Program Evaluation where she has planned, implemented, and evaluated district-wide professional development. Prior to joining FHSD, she served as an Area Coordinator followed by the Director of Special Education with the Special School District of St. Louis County. She was also a special education teacher with the Special School District, as well as the Fox School District. Dr. Hendricks-Harris is also an adjunct instructor with Lindenwood University.


She has also earned numerous accomplishments over her career. She was the recipient of the Lindenwood Francis and Elizabeth Huss Graduate Award for Education Administration and attended the Harvard Institute for School Leadership. Additionally, she has acted as the lead presenter at numerous local, state, and national professional development conferences.

Dr. Hendricks-Harris earned a doctorate of education degree and educational specialist degree from Lindenwood University. She also holds a master’s degree in Education from University of Missouri – St. Louis and a bachelor’s degree in Education from St. Louis University.


The Francis Howell Board of Education’s selection of Dr. Hendricks-Harris resulted from a three month national search that was coordinated by McPherson Jacobson. The consulting firm received more than 20 completed applications by the position’s closing date of Jan. 8, 2016. The Board of Education reviewed the applications and selected three candidates for interviews.


Dr. Hendricks-Harris succeeds Dr. Pam Sloan, who retires June 30, 2016, after serving Francis Howell children and community as superintendent for the past six years and the school district for 23 years.