Charter Arts Academy Hires Former Clayton High Principal

Article excerpt

A former Clayton High School administrator who resigned amid a Facebook controversy last year will be the new principal at a charter school in St. Louis.

Grand Center Arts Academy has hired Louise Losos, who officially will replace Lynne Glickert as principal on July 1.

The move has upset parents and students at the charter school, which completed its third year last week.

School leaders told Glickert on Friday that the board had decided not to renew her contract for the 2013-14 school year, citing "philosophical differences."

"It was a huge shock," Glickert said Monday.

The school's parent association held an emergency meeting Saturday. Students created a Facebook page with the name "Glickert's Army" to support their principal. They plan to hold a "peaceful protest" outside a meeting between parents and the board at 5:30 p.m. today at the school. The board also plans to meet June 10 to give parents an opportunity to ask questions.

Rhonda Holt, incoming president of the association, said parents were devastated to lose Glickert and upset that the board made the decision without their involvement. The board's statement about "philosophical differences" with Glickert was a concern, Holt said.

"We all share the same philosophy as Lynne Glickert. If they have a different philosophy, we need to know what that philosophy is," Holt said.

The parents are disappointed that Losos' background is not focused on the arts, and wary about what happened at Clayton High.

Last spring, Losos took a leave of absence as Clayton High principal. District officials described the situation as "both a personal issue for Louise and a personnel matter." Some Clayton parents alleged that Losos had created a false Facebook identity to monitor students' Facebook activity and see what detractors were saying about her. The identity had attracted more than 300 "friends," many from Clayton High. Losos eventually reached a settlement with the school district. She resigned and received $140,000.

A statement from the charter school's board of directors said board members were aware of the reason Losos left Clayton.

"We believe, based on her outstanding record as an educational leader, she deserves a second chance," officials wrote in the statement. "We feel very fortunate she is joining our leadership team."

Glickert had been with Grand Center Arts Academy, 711 North Grand Boulevard, since 2009 and opened its doors in August 2010 for the school's first day. …