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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It’s Settled. I Am Resigning Because of Terry Noble…By Karl Frank, Jr.


Last week I wrote rather convincingly the various reasons for why I was resigning from the Mehlville Board of Education, but something just felt like it was missing.  The reasons I provided are all real and legitimate reasons for my resignation, but board service is complicated, and the reasons for various decisions contain multitudes – including this one.

While I made the decision to resign early in September, I could not even explain to myself the reason why. Since then, I have spent a great deal of time trying to settle on the one over-arching reason that has caused such a mental check-out in my desire for serving on the Board of Education.  When it hit me today, I knew it was it.

I simply do not want to serve on a Board of Education that does not have Terry Noble as its Superintendent.

The most important job of a school board member is to find a superintendent that can handle the administration of the school district for the purpose of student success.The complexity of school district management is not something easily understood by the average community member, nor is it something easily understood by a school board director, or even a classroom teacher.  Running a $100 million dollar a year operation with 1200 employees and more than 10,000 students, of which the stakes are incredibly high is not for the weary, and it is especially not for the incompetent.

Throw in a highly critical press and a plethora of red tape from state and federal government mandates, most of which is unfunded, and you have a job that very few Americans are physically, mentally, and logistically qualified to do.

As a board member, I joined my colleagues in stumbling upon a diamond-in-the-rough leader.  We simply have that best superintendent in Missouri, and maybe one of the best in the country, directing our school district, creating an internal educational environment unlike most have ever seen within the walls of the Mehlville School District.

Few people in my life have been able to throw me in to a pure state of humility like Terry Noble has.  He is the kind of person that almost everyone in the community wishes they knew personally, yet here it is slapping them in the face and they reject him.  Not only is he not accepted, some of the things that have been said about Mr. Noble and his motivations are despicable beyond all reproach.  They disgust me.  They literallymake me want to vomit when I think about it.

Being the superintendent of a school district is not a charitable endeavor.  A public school district is not a church.  Asking someone to drive two hours a day to put in hefty twelve hour days at what is ultimately a cost to them is ludicrous.  It’s not logical and most of all it’s anti-American.

Have you ever thought about how you can simultaneously be proud of something and sickened and ashamed of it at the same time?  Well that is me right now.  I am sick and ashamed of the majority of the Mehlville Community.  I do not want to serve it and I do not want to be elected by it.  Quite frankly, the fact that I was ever elected at all by this community makes me wonder what in the world people are thinking.

I love my kids.  I love my my wife.  I love my home, our school district, and my family’s roots in this community, but I do not love what this community has become and is on the road to becoming.

After the failure of Proposition C, I was strongly encouraged as a board member to take responsibility for its loss.  For years board members have been pointing fingers at each other and others for the failures ballot initiatives.  Screw that. I am not taking responsibility for something I have dedicated my life to for no pay and no glory. I certainly am not taking responsibility for the future failures of this district when I know without a doubt that the leader we need now more than ever is a man named Terry Noble.

This community knows the cost of everything but the value of nothing.  Nothing…Nothing!

In the meantime, I did my job.  I found the best superintendent possible to run this school district, and now this community doesn’t want to do what it takes to keep him.

What a disappointment.  I can’t believe how naive I was in thinking to myself five years ago that all we needed was the right people at the helm and this community would accept its responsibility to each other as fellow human beings.

I could not have been proven more wrong…and I hate being wrong.

Terry may be too good of a person to step down in the middle of a commitment, but I am not.  I’m outta’ here.


  1. Gee Karl, you are just too smart and important to accept that you and your Board completely misinterpreted the COMPASS dog & pony show that included mostly teachers and administrators NOT the public.

    Then you signed on to UNICOM•ARC's flawed and misleading phone survey and went for 88 cents instead of a smaller figure that might have passed.

    But worst of all, after Terry Noble got his $44,000 a year raise, the Board sent Tom Diehl to be interviewed by Elliot Davis and he said: "My decision and the decision of the board is not based on how the taxpayers feel." Now you blame the Mehlville Community for Prop C's failure?

    Fine. Go ahead and quit. If Terry Noble is the reason for your resignation, that's OK with the taxpayers. You would not have survived the April election. Nor will Erin Weber and the self-aggrandizing PhD, Mr. Frauenhoffer.

    The Mehlville citizens have soundly rejected your "vision", COMPASS and Noble's raise. The district will discover in April the enormity of anger that has built up against the incumbent BOE members. Three new board members will replace anyone who voted to put an 88 cent tax increase on the ballot.

    Enjoy your retirement Karl, at least you are smart enough NOT to stand for reelection.

  2. Geez Karl, Remove your lips from Terrys' ass!

  3. You've got to be kidding me! This article is a joke, right? Now more than ever, we need a campaign to restore the COMMON SENSE!

  4. Karl, if you have that much disike for the Mehlville area maybe you should move to a better environment.

    No one is slapping Mr. Noble in the face. I am sure he does a great job, for which he is well compenstated and will be for the rest of living days so don't give us that line about how tuff it is; to run a $100mil budget with 1200 employees, to drive two hours(I assume you mean total drive time)work 12 hours, and deal with red tape. You think he is the only school superintendent in STL CO that has exclusive rights to those hurdles. Not to mention people that run a business that have the same hurdles. Everyone choses his/her profession.

    And are you telling us that this great man of a superintendent is stepping down? If he as great as you say he is and it is all about the kids then he should stick it out and really restore the pride and figure out how to improve on the good work he has done so for.

    Face it, the BOE blew it by letting a little too much sunshine get blown up their ... and decided to go all in on a tax issue that the BOE was told, by real people, it had no chance of passing. So instead of a little piece of pie the BOE gave Mr. noble an empty plate.


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