When the Hazelwood Board of Education appointed Grayling Tobias interim superintendent for the district, he wasted not a single second in getting a plan and goals in place for his new position.
That weekend, which was Labor Day weekend, the newly assembled leadership team as well as the board met with Tobias and spent hours meeting and working on a plan to move the district forward. That has remained the interim superintendent’s top priority.
“Our primary concern is our children and we want to provide teachers and principals and support staff with the necessary resources to help our students succeed in school and in life,” Tobias said. “My job is to build on strengths for the people who work closest to our children, meaning our teachers and principals and support staff.”
The North County native has a laser-like focus on not only building up the district but the community.
Tobias said he grew up in the area and graduated from McCluer North High School. After obtaining his undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri, St. Louis (UMSL), he continued to pursue educational milestones—receiving his master’s degree from Northeast Missouri State University as well as a doctorate from Saint Louis University and a graduate certificate from UMSL.
Before beginning his stint with the Hazelwood School District 10 years ago, he worked in the Parkway School District, Riverview Gardens as well as St. Louis Country Day.
He’s always had his eye on a superintendent role someday, and he’s happy to be home to take on the position.
“It’s been fun to reacquaint myself with North County community members,” he said. “I will be reaffirming our commitment to the community as evidenced by many activities that we have done thus far and I will continue to do. I want the community to know that North County is a great place to have their children go to school and raise a family.”
Since beginning his time as interim superintendent, Tobias has focused on making a smooth transition and getting the district on track to continue to be a premier educational hub.
Earlier this month, he presented a 30-day report to the board and community members of the activities that he and his administration have executed since his appointment.
Activities ranging from an academic improvement plan and transition plan to getting out and attending community events just briefly touch the actions Tobias has made so far, and he’s got much more in store for the short and long term.
“The community is a great community,” he said. “Hazelwood has always been a lighthouse district, and we want that to continue.”