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Strategic Plan


Ladue Schools students are empowered to be agents of change. 

Students are encouraged to engage in community service projects or identify an issue in the school community and seek the necessary resources to make a positive difference in their community and the world.

We want these characteristics to lay the foundation for our students to be difference-makers.

We also want to create students who love to learn and are willing to go forth to share.

A Ladue Schools graduate is:

  • Academically Excellent (prepared, critical thinker, lifelong learner)

  • Compassionate
  • Confident 
  • Creative
  • Culturally and Globally Aware
  • Empathetic
  • Inspired
  • Resilient

What we are committed to in our five-year Strategic Plan …

  • Implementing innovative, individualized, and inquiry-based programming designed to address our students’ academic and social-emotional needs inside and outside the classroom.
  • Promoting equity and inclusion strategies and structures to address gaps and ensure all stakeholders are seen, heard, and valued.
  • Recruiting, retaining, and developing an exceptional staff dedicated to and representative of our diverse community.
  • Building trust by providing timely, accurate, transparent, and engaging communications with our stakeholders and community.
  • Providing quality facilities that enhance our students’ learning experience and amplify our staff’s ability to deliver a high-quality curriculum.
  • Being a good steward of the tax revenue entrusted to the district by our community.

Our Vision

Together, we will empower every student to become a passionate learner and achieve their highest potential.

  • SET the standard for academic excellence in education for all students so they may have the foundation upon which to build productive, happy lives.
  • ENSURE all students are prepared and inspired to continue learning beyond Ladue Schools to be successful in the highest level attainable of post-secondary education.

Our Mission

We are a community that believes in the limitless possibilities of learning through:

  • Fostering the highest possible level of academic achievement and personal responsibility for each student.
  • Recognizing and respecting all cultures.
  • Challenging all students to excel in ways that nurture their individual talents and skills. 
  • Inspiring each student to become a responsible and contributing member of a global society.
  • Planning for and managing financial resources to allow for the high-quality staff, instructional resources, and facilities required to promote learning.
  • Developing a highly trained, innovative staff that can meet changing student needs.
  • Engaging parents and the community in the success of our students.

How We Do It

Our Collective Commitments serve as a framework for accomplishing the district’s overarching goals of the Strategic Plan and a tangible guide for our day-to-day work and efforts to plan for the next five years. 

Collective Commitments are identified and rise to the forefront of the district’s use of energy and resources because they are:

  • Consistent with the district’s Vision, Mission, and Goals
  • Embedded in every key aspect of our district
  • Defined as having the ability to make immediate and measurable positive differences in student achievement

Our Collective Commitments are not the only projects of importance in the district nor are they the only initiatives that will be addressed; they simply reflect the district’s highest priorities. The Collective Commitments also assist in ensuring that energy and resources expended are aligned with achieving the district’s overall goals.  

Our Approach

The timeline for developing the Ladue School District’s Future-Ready Strategic Plan 2022-2027 is as follows:

  • Summer 2021 — Discussions with Board and Administration
  • October 2021 — Survey students, faculty, staff, and community
  • October 2021 — Community Engagement Event #1
  • November 2021-March 2022 — Subcommittee Work 
  • March 2022 — Student Advisory Feedback and Board Update
  • April 2022 — Community Engagement Event #2
  • May 2022 — Anticipated Board Approval
  • July 1, 2022 — Beginning of Implementation

Research Leads the Way

In the fall of 2021, we used an online tool to survey Ladue Schools students in grades 3 through 12. We also engaged teachers, staff, and the entire community using three separate links.

The survey was designed to look at the culture, climate, and sense of belonging in our school environment. The survey launch timing coincided with the strategic planning process; therefore, to maximize participation, we added questions relevant to providing foundational data to help inform us while developing our strategic plan. Our questions probed perspectives on curriculum, diversity, technology, facilities, finances, communications, and human resources. The last step was to disaggregate and analyze the data to find trends.

The data confirmed broad agreement about several areas the district should concentrate on going forward. Examples include an increased focus on individualized student instruction, school climate, social-emotional learning, community education opportunities, expanding the early childhood education program, streamlining communications, and website development. 

How will we ensure continued progress?

The district’s strategic plan is designed to be dynamic and evolving. It will be reviewed continuously and updated as progress is made. Our Collective Commitments include action steps and school improvement plans with measurable outcomes.

Collective Commitments

  1. Delivering innovative, individualized, and inquiry-based programming designed to address the academic and social-emotional needs of our students inside and outside of the classroom.
  2. Implementing equity and inclusion strategies and structures to address equity gaps and ensure all stakeholders are seen, heard, and valued.
  3. Hiring, retaining, and developing exceptional staff, dedicated to our students and representative of our diverse school community.
  4. Providing timely, accurate, transparent, and engaging communication for our stakeholders and community, which is essential to advance the district’s success.
  5. Managing quality facilities that enhance our students’ learning experience and amplify our staff’s ability to deliver a high-quality curriculum.
  6. Being a good steward of the tax revenue entrusted to the district by our community.


Our Strategic Plan aligns with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Missouri School Improvement Plan 6 (MSIP6) Standards.

Throughout the school year, district leadership will provide updates to the Board of Education and the community. The updates will include qualitative and quantitative evidence of progress towards our collective commitments and revisions of the action steps as needed.

Thank you!

The Ladue School District would like to thank our dedicated and supportive parents, staff, and community members who took the time to provide their thoughts and ideas that helped guide this strategic plan every step of the way. Most of all, thank you to our high school and middle school student advisory councils for sharing their insight and a fresh perspective on the ways we can improve our school district. We learn from each and every one of you. Truly, the heart of the Ladue Schools Future-Ready Strategic Plan is the community we serve!

Strategic Planning Leadership Team

The following individuals led the district’s efforts to develop the Future-Ready Strategic Plan 2022-2027. 

Ladue School District’s students, staff, parents/guardians, Board of Education, and community members who served on subcommittees were instrumental in providing feedback to the district’s five-year plan.

Ladue Schools Staff

Dr. Jim Wipke

Dr. Julie Helm
Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources

Dr. Geoff Macy
Assistant Superintendent for Business & Finance

Dr. Derrick Wallace
Assistant Superintendent for Student & Community Services

Dr. Amy Zielinski
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction

Rob Highfill
Director of Technology

Kimberly McKenzie
Director of Communications

Mike Noonan
Director of Facilities

Dr. Stacy Carlock, Director
Ladue Early Childhood Center

Dr. Sarah Padberg, Principal
Conway Elementary

Dr. Chris Schreiner, Principal
Reed Elementary

Dr. Kim Stallons, Principal
Spoede Elementary

Dr. Stephanie Taggert, Principal
Old Bonhomme Elementary

Dr. Patricia Wilson, Principal
Ladue Fifth Grade Center

Dr. Tiffany Taylor-Johnson, Principal
Ladue Middle School

Brad Griffith, Principal
Ladue Horton Watkins High School

Ashley Arnold
District Psychologist

Brooke Bilby
Gifted Coordinator

Stephanie Chapie
Behavior Interventionist

Laila Crabtree
ELA/Social Studies Coordinator

Danielle Green
Ladue Schools Social Worker

Lisa Lacroix
Assessment Specialist

Dr. Kevin McColgan
STEM Coordinator

Dr. Jennifer Riesenmy
DEI Coordinator 

Board of Education

Kisha Lee

Marissa Rosen
Vice President

Jennifer Growe Soshnik

Andy Bresler

Carolyn Jaeger

Sheldon Johnson

Jeff Kopolow