The Missouri State Board of Education appointed University of Missouri–St. Louis faculty members Lynn Beckwith and Mark Tranel to a three-person “special administrative board” to lead the Riverview Gardens School District in north St. Louis County. The trio, which includes Veronica Morrow-Reel, will assume governance of 6,600-student school district effective July 1. The district has remained unaccredited since 2007.

“I want to help set a positive direction for the district that will put the focus of efforts on the children of Riverview Gardens School District,” Beckwith told KSDK (Channel 5) (see above).

The state board appointments were made based on recommendations by Missouri Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro, a UMSL alumna (MEd 1982) and former superintendent of the Hazelwood (Missouri) School District (2002-2009) and Riverview Gardens School District (1995-2002).

“I am confident that this board is committed to working with the Riverview Gardens staff and community to improve academic achievement by all students,” Nicastro said in a statement.

Tranel is the director of the Public Policy Research Center at UMSL and an associate professor of public policy administration. A former director of development for the Economic Council of St. Louis County, he has been active in district committees.

“I’m a resident of the district,” Tranel told the St. Louis Beacon, “and if there’s a way I can help out, I’ll do my best.”

Visit to read the entire St. Louis Beacon article.

Beckwith is the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor of Urban Education in Connection with St. Louis Public Schools at UMSL. The veteran Missouri educator was superintendent of the University City (Missouri) School District from 1993 to 2000 and has worked for many years with the St. Louis Public Schools.

Morrow-Reel is a loan coordinator for Citizens National Bank in Mapleood, Mo., resident of the district and member the board of aldermen in Dellwood, Mo.

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Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz