On Feb. 26, 2013, the Board of Education voted unanimously to appoint Dr. Donna Jahnke, a 22-year veteran of the Ladue School District, as its next superintendent. Dr. Jahnke will begin her new role July 1, 2013, after finishing her current contract as Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning.
In announcing the Board of Education’s selection, Board President Jayne Langsam stated, “Dr. Jahnke is a proven and trusted leader in our district. She has a clear understanding of the educational needs of students, as well as the expectations of the community. She has earned the respect of her colleagues at all levels during her 22 years in the district and can hit the ground running on the many important initiatives underway.”
“It will be my honor, as well as my privilege, to serve as Ladue Schools’ next superintendent,” said Dr. Jahnke. “My commitment to this district is strong and I am passionate about what can be accomplished here. I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Our teaching staff is exceptional and our leadership team is engaged and solid. Most importantly, our parents are involved and bring to us some of the most remarkable students in the nation. I am confident that, together, we can maintain the traditions that have made Ladue Schools an excellent school district, while continuously improving to ensure we set the standard for academic excellence.”
“Dr. Jahnke was an excellent choice and I am thrilled for what this means to the district,” stated Acting Superintendent Dr. Judy Sclair. “Donna loves kids and loves learning, and her background in curriculum, educational programming and student services is exceptional. That knowledge, passion and commitment has served the district well under her leadership as an assistant superintendent and it will continue to do so for many years to come as she serves as superintendent.”
Dr. Jahnke began her career in the Ladue School District in 1991 as a classroom teacher, after having worked as a Special Education Teacher for Special School District of St. Louis County. In 1996 she became Director of Community Services, which included responsibilities as the Director of the Ladue Early Childhood Center, as well as for the Parents as Teachers and all district fee-based programs. In 1998 she was appointed Principal of Reed Elementary School where she remained until becoming an Assistant Superintendent in 2008.
Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Education, as well as Special Education Certification from Southeast Missouri State University; a Master of Education from the University of Missouri; and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership from Saint Louis University.
The Board of Education and lead administrators are in the process of determining what other administrative changes may occur as a result of Dr. Jahnke being appointed Superintendent.