Update: The next school board meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 11. Here is the agenda. This would be a good place to express your opinion of this hire.
Update 2: Elliot Davis made a follow-up visit to Arnold, and talked to Critchlow and Linda Nash.
Eyebrows are being raised in and around the Fox C-6 School District, which serves the Arnold area, over the hiring of a new food service director for the district. The new hire, Kelly Nash, is the daughter-in-law of school board president Linda Nash. Although the job requires a dietitian degree or nutrition specialist certification, Kelly Nash has only a high-school diploma and 17 years at McDonald’s, rising to assistant manager (probably not the type of experience a parent might want to see in this job). She has two years to get such a degree; no word on who is going to pay for it, but I have a guess: taxpayers. But don’t you worry, the familial relationship had nothing to do with the hire. Superintendent Dianne Critchlow said, according to the Leader, that:
“Kelly was picked not by her last name. Kelly was by far the best person for the job. She stands on her own merit.”
While Critchlow was willing to talk to the Leader, she wanted nothing to do with Fox 2’s Elliot Davis (video here).
Todd Scott, assistant superintendent for human resources, did talk to the Leader and Davis, on Monday and Friday, respectively. In both cases, he “couldn’t remember” if any of the 11 other applicants had the desired certification. One would think he could have looked that up sometime during the week. If he was present for the deliberations, he would certainly know the answer to this, because a topic of debate would certainly have been whether they should really hire someone with lesser credentials than other applicants. That is assuming, of course, that the process was not entirely a foregone conclusion.
Suspected nepotism is not a new phenomena at Fox. This Post-Dispatch article discussed such complaints five years ago. This Topix post (take with the appropriate grain of salt) points out a number of current examples.
Unfortunately, Linda Nash is not up for re-election in April (she has another year). But Ruth Ann Newman and Pete Nicholas, who also voted for this hire (it was unanimous), are set to face voters. Filing for this race begins Tuesday, so someone, please take them on and make nepotism your issue.