Tiffany Anderson | St. Louis Public Radio

Tiffany Anderson

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

In January, Jennings Superintendent, Dr. Tiffany Anderson, who is credited with turning around the district and helping it reach full accreditation, announced she was leaving to take the position of superintendent with Topeka Public Schools, effective July 1. 

Jennings Freshman Kevion McKay shakes hands with Superintendent-elect Art McCoy Friday, Feb. 19, 2016.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 6:30 p.m. with comments from McCoy, board-- The Jennings School District has selected a superintendent to fill the shoes of the woman credited with helping the district regain accreditation. Art McCoy will replace Tiffany Anderson when she takes charge of Topeka Public Schools in July.

McCoy was previously the superintendent for the Ferguson-Florissant School district but stepped down two years ago after that district’s board put him on administrative leave.

Jennings Superintendent Tiffany Anderson takes her turn as a crossing guard.
Jennings School District

Updated 7:10 p.m. Friday with Anderson being hired in Topeka, her comments: Tiffany Anderson, whose leadership in the Jennings school district since 2012 resulted in its earning full accreditation, will become the new superintendent of schools in Topeka, Kan., starting July 1.

The head of the school board in Topeka, Patrick Woods, made the announcement late Friday. Anderson had been one of two finalists for the job.

Thomas Hawk, Flickr, Creative Commons

In the second installment of the weekly ‘Behind the Headlines’ segment, “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh discussed three top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people that produced them and influenced them. 

Here’s what we talked about:

Downtown restaurant closures

teaching
St. Louis Public Radio file photo

Saint Louis University’s School of Education is launching a new teacher training program this week that’s specifically designed for urban education.

The Urban Education Learning Collaborative is small, for now. Just six students will work intensely in the Jennings School District for the next two years.  But Saint Louis University Education Professor, Alex Cuenca, said the hope is to expand to 40 students who will spend all four years working in the same urban school. 

Remko van Dokkum | Flickr

Whether it's maintaining privacy online, or knowing how connected students are at home, even well-funded school districts can have a hard time keeping up with the speed of digital change. With that in mind, superintendents and administrators from more than 35 districts across the Midwest will gather for The Future Ready Regional Summit in St. Louis Tuesday to share ideas on how to weave technology into classroom instruction.

Tiffany Anderson appears before the state board of education in Jefferson City Tuesday.
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Updated at 11:33 a.m. with testimony at board meeting:

Riding the crest of improvement on the state’s annual evaluation, Jennings Superintendent Tiffany Anderson sees full accreditation and further gains in the future for the north St. Louis County district.

And Riverview Gardens Superintendent Scott Spurgeon, whose district is now the only one in Missouri that is unaccredited, says his staff have laid the foundation for classroom success.   

Sam's Meat Market in Ferguson. November 21, 2014
Maria Altman / St. Louis Public Radio

As the wait goes on for an announcement by the Darren Wilson grand jury, people, businesses and organizations are taking steps to prepare for possible unrest. There are random anecdotes of parents preparing to bring their children home early from school, and businesses developing plans for locking down under duress.

But there are also more concrete plans in the works.

School closings

Dale Singer | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 4:15 p.m. with information about discussion of Kansas City schools:

Jennings Superintendent Tiffany Anderson wasn’t 100 percent sure that her schools had made enough progress to reach full accreditation, but she had a pretty good hunch.

So she went out anyway and had a banner made celebrating what she hoped would be the long-sought results. Then she got the word Monday night from state education officials: Jennings’ preliminary 2014 scores were high enough to be in the full accreditation category.