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St. Louis Public Schools names interim superintendent amid national search

Nicole Williams, chief of staff for the St. Louis Public Schools, speaks on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, during an event at Washington University. The collaboration is a partnership between public and private universities and K-12 schools with the task of researching topics related to St. Louis schools.
Brian Munoz
St. Louis Public Radio
Nicole Williams, chief of staff for St. Louis Public Schools, speaks in March during an event at Washington University. Williams will become interim superintendent of St. Louis Public Schools in January.

The St. Louis city board of education has chosen an interim superintendent to lead St. Louis Public Schools after Kelvin Adams retires at the end of this year.

Nicole Williams, Adams’ chief of staff, will take over on January 1st. Williams was the deputy superintendent of academics for SLPS from 2011 to 2013. She left to work as a superintendent in New York, where she is from, then later returned to her current role.

“Dr. Williams’ impressive career in education spans three decades,” the board of education wrote in a letter to families Monday. “As a former superintendent, interim superintendent and consultant to school boards and district leadership teams, Dr. Williams is both familiar with school district operations and the responsibilities of a superintendent.”

The district is currently searching for Adams’ permanent replacement. A survey of families and community-members on what they’d like to see in a new leader is open until Wednesday morning, both online and at schools. The results will be used in the job description, application process and candidate interviews.

The search firm Ray & Associates is expected to present a list of candidates to the board of education by mid-January, and it hopes to offer the job to someone by the end of that month.

Adams is retiring after 14 years at the helm of the school district, making him one of the longest-serving superintendents in the city’s history. After announcing his plans, he said although he is retiring, he will continue to work in some capacity in St. Louis.

“I'm going to take some time, obviously, to pause and take a break,” Adams said in an interview with St. Louis Public Radio. “But I can easily see myself back doing some work again to support this community.”

Follow Kate on Twitter: @KGrumke

Kate Grumke covers the environment, climate and agriculture for St. Louis Public Radio and Harvest Public Media.