Hazelwood’s Chris Wright Named Missouri Superintendent of the Year

The Missouri Association of School Administrators (MASA) named Hazelwood School District Supt. Chris L. Wright the Missouri Superintendent of the Year.

The announcement was made during the recent Missouri School Boards’ Association and MASA joint fall conference held at Tan-Tar-A in Osage Beach.

As the recipient of this award, Wright will represent Missouri in the national Superintendent of the Year program conducted by the American Association of School Administrators. The Missouri award is sponsored by PFM Asset Management, LLC, which is the program administrator for the Missouri Securities Investment Program. Dr. Wright received a commemorative ring, as well as a $500 scholarship for an HSD student.

HSD hired Wright in July, 2002. She initiated “Hazelwood 1st’, a community engagement campaign that involved more than 1,000 community members in the development of a ten-year, three-phase facility improvement plan. She also led efforts to implement full-day kindergarten, a new, district-wide reading and writing program, and a new math and science curriculum. She has also developed several partnerships with area universities to provide programs and training for students and staff. Wright was instrumental in bringing the Project Lead the Way pre-engineering program to HSD. The HSD high schools represent three of only four high schools in the state piloting the PLTW biomedical program.

In nominating Wright for the award, Desiree Whitlock, president of the HSD Board of Education, said, “More than ever before, public education needs leaders who inspire, who lead courageously, and who collaborate with others to make positive change. Chris does all of these.

“Chris’ commitment and passion for serving the needs of all of our children have earned widespread respect in our community,” she continued. “She is an avid spokesperson for public education, and an active leader on legislative issues and an advocate for children everywhere.”

Wright is past chairman of the Board for the Greater North County Chamber of Commerce and a member of the board of directors for North County Incorporated. She is a member of the board of directors for Christian Hospital and serves on the Community Advisory Board for DePaul Hospital.

She is past president of MASA and past chair of the St. Louis Cooperating School Districts. She was elected by her colleagues in 2003 and again in 2008 to serve on the Governing Board of the American Association of School Administrators. Wright has also been involved in the Kansas-Missouri Superintendent’s Forum since 1982, and she has given several presentations, including a presentation last month on Urban School Reform at the St. Louis Black Leadership Roundtable Conference.

With more than 32 years experience in education, Wright worked previously as an administrator in the Ritenour and Northwest R-1 school districts. She also served as superintendent of schools for seven years in Riverview Gardens.

The University of Missouri in St. Louis has recognized Wright as a Distinguished Alumnus and several community organizations have acknowledged her service to children and families. She has been awarded the Corrigan-Wiesman Award for her work with at-risk youth by the St. Louis County Juvenile Justice Association,.She was recognized by the University of Missouri in St. Louis with the 2006 Trailblazer Award.

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