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Glickert Will Fill New Leadership Post At Grand Center Arts Academy

GCAA website

Lynne Glickert, who was ousted as principal of Grand Center Arts Academy, then brought back as interim principal after a storm of parental and student protest, has been named to a newly created leadership position at the school.

The board of directors of Confluence Charter Schools, which includes the academy located in Grand Center, said Wednesday that beginning July 1, Glickert will serve in an executive post “responsible for providing oversight, strategic planning, continued focus on the mission and vision of the school, fiscal management, human resources, development and fundraising, as well as creating and growing partnerships with civic, business and cultural organizations.”

No official title or salary have been determined for the new position, a school spokeswoman said.

The academy plans to continue its search for a permanent principal for the 2014-15 school year, with Glickert involved in the selection of that person as well. A final selection is expected by March.

In a statement, Glickert thanked the board for selecting her for the new role.

“I applaud the board for recognizing the unique needs of our school. By creating this position, it ensures the long-term success for GCAA,” she said. “I want to express my gratitude to the board for the opportunity to serve in this position.”

Sonya Henry, who chairs the Confluence board, added:

“We want to build upon the successes already established at GCAA. We want GCAA to become a nationally recognized charter high school focused on education and the arts. With respect to our primary goal of educating students and keeping their best interests in mind, the board is looking toward a positive future for Grand Center Arts Academy.

“As Grand Center Arts Academy continues to expand through 12th grade, it is critically important to create and maintain stability for the future of the school.”

The announcement comes after turmoil erupted at the school in May, when the board announced that Glickert, the academy’s founding principal, would no longer have that job as of July 1. Instead, it said, the position had been offered to Louise Losos, the former principal of Clayton High School. No reason for the change was given beyond “philosophical differences.”

Parents, students and others involved with the school immediately protested, but at first the board reaffirmed its decision, though it also said it had rescinded its offer to Losos. But it also named an advisory committee that could bring grievances to the full board and entertain ideas about how the school could operate in the future.

The committee first approved a motion calling for Glickert to be named interim principal at the school. The board announced that it would hire Glickert for that position for one year while the nationwide search for a permanent successor was conducted.

At that time, Henry said in a statement:

“We’ve reiterated with Ms. Glickert our concerns and will work more closely with her throughout this interim period to address them. But together, Ms. Glickert and the board also recognize that as an organization we can collaborate more, and in doing so we can improve the school, its leadership and governance.”

Robert Goldson, who joined the Confluence board about the time the original dispute surrounding Glickert surfaced, said in the statement released by the school Wednesday:

“We want the students to be successful. We want our families to feel secure in the choice they’ve made for their child’s education, and we want our teachers and staff to feel confident that they are working in an environment that is focused on students.
“The board and Lynne agree that this is a positive step to help GCAA grow and meet its goal of 
becoming recognized as one of the highest quality arts and academic schools in the nation."
In July, Confluence announced that Losos would serve as curriculum resource director for all five of the organization’s charter schools, under the contract she had originally signed to become principal.

She had resigned last year from her post at Clayton High School in a dispute over her use of social media. In exchange for a lump sum payment of $140,000, she agreed not to file suit against the school district or its employees, board members or others relating to her employment or resignation. 

Grand Center Arts Academy has a core academic curriculum along with classes in dance, music, art and theater. It began in 2010 with students in sixth and seventh grades, with classes held at Third Baptist Church, then moved to a new building across from Powell Hall following a $20 million renovation.

In 2012, it expanded to ninth grade and plans to add a grade each year through 2015-2016. It plans to expand into renovated space at the Sun Theatre in Grand Center this coming spring, including a 650-seat theater.

Follow Dale Singer on Twitter: @dalesinger

Dale Singer began his career in professional journalism in 1969 by talking his way into a summer vacation replacement job at the now-defunct United Press International bureau in St. Louis; he later joined UPI full-time in 1972. Eight years later, he moved to the Post-Dispatch, where for the next 28-plus years he was a business reporter and editor, a Metro reporter specializing in education, assistant editor of the Editorial Page for 10 years and finally news editor of the newspaper's website. In September of 2008, he joined the staff of the Beacon, where he reported primarily on education. In addition to practicing journalism, Dale has been an adjunct professor at University College at Washington U. He and his wife live in west St. Louis County with their spoiled Bichon, Teddy. They have two adult daughters, who have followed them into the word business as a communications manager and a website editor, and three grandchildren. Dale reported for St. Louis Public Radio from 2013 to 2016.

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