Dr. Jim Wipke became Superintendent of the Ladue School District on July 1, 2019, at the beginning of the 2019-20 school year. He has extensive experience at all levels of the public school education system and came to the Ladue Schools from Fox C-6 School District where he served for four years as superintendent.
Get to Know Jim!
Dr. Wipke believes communication is key to leadership, particularly in a school district. His internal communications include extensive weekly updates to the Board of Education, weekly messages to all staff and monthly updates to the entire administrative team.
Dr. Wipke also provides a variety of ways for parents and the greater community to get to know both him and the Ladue Schools community better. He frequently sends video and audio messages to ensure parents are not only informed about important occurrences within the district, but that they hear it from him personally.
Dr. Wipke also enjoys creating blogs and podcasts on a variety of subjects. These links can be found below and you can subscribe to receive updates on when a new segment has become available!
From My View. In this blog, Dr. Wipke shares anecdotes and thoughts on a wide ranging topics. Recently published blogs include April 15 (It’s about Jackie Robinson – not taxes!), Get Rid of the Clutter, and Resolutions 2020.
See. Serve. Connect. Podcast. Dr. Wipke’s podcast reflects the theme: See. Serve. Connect. The purpose of this theme is to continuously focus Ladue Schools staff on the idea that, in order to be effective, all educators need to truly see their students for the unique and valuable individuals they are; serve their educational, as well as their emotional and social needs; and connect with them so they truly feel supported, valued and part of something bigger than themselves. Using See. Serve. Connect. as a foundation, Dr. Wipke’s podcast will have three main areas of focus:
- Talking with students and staff about their accomplishments and sharing their many wonderful and unique achievements.
- Discussing public school education issues in today’s times.
- Engaging with our broader community, including parents and local leaders, about societal issues and opportunities.
Dr. Wipke’s Background
Dr. Wipke began his career in education in the Rockwood School District as a fifth-grade elementary school teacher, then moved to Crestview Middle school as a sixth-grade World History teacher before starting his administrative career at Parkway South Middle School as an assistant principal. Dr. Wipke then returned to Rockwood as a middle school assistant principal, subsequently serving as a middle school principal, high school principal and finally executive director of secondary schools in Rockwood, before taking on the superintendency in Fox C-6.
Dr. Wipke received his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Harris-Stowe State University in 1993, his masters degrees in Administration and Education from Southwest Baptist University in 2000, and his Educational Doctorate from Maryville University of St. Louis in 2008.He received the New Superintendent of the Year Award for the region in 2018-19.
About Dr. Wipke’s Transition into Superintendency
Upon being selected as the district’s next superintendent, Dr. Wipke shared this Letter to the Community, which includes his personal introduction, as well as information about his family, observations about the Ladue School District and what his general plans were for transitioning into his new role. Also shortly after joining the district, Dr. Wipke took the opportunity to visit our new Broadcast Technology studio to film a segment of the student-produced Ladue Schools Today so our community could get to know him a little better. Check it out here!
During his transition in his role as superintendent, Dr. Wipke took every opportunity to immerse himself in the Ladue School District. In addition to attending parent organization meetings and individual building events, Dr. Wipke spent numerous hours with the leadership of the Ladue School District, particularly with Dr. Jahnke, to learn about our academic programming, processes, policies, financial status and facilities work. During this process, Dr. Wipke refined his transition plans for the first six months on the job and those can be found in this document: Ladue Schools Superintendent Transition Plan.
Finally, in order to get input directly from the Ladue Schools community, Dr. Wipke created a ThoughtExchange, asking parents, staff and students to respond to the following question: What do you think our schools are doing well and what can we focus on in order to improve them? Nearly 1,000 people participated, sharing 1,058 thoughts. See the results from this ThoughtExchange here.