A new superintendent, a possible shutdown and New Zealand fires

Dr. Mark Miles will officially be Rockwoods superintendent, Monday, July 1.

Courtesy of RSD

Dr. Mark Miles will officially be Rockwood’s superintendent, Monday, July 1.


Know: Rockwood School District announced a new superintendent, Feb. 7.

Inform: Mark Miles will take over after Eric Knost retires, Monday, July 1. Knost announced his retirement, Oct. 11, 2018. Miles is currently the superintendent of the Indian Hill Exempted Village School District in Cincinnati, Ohio, a position he has held since 2012. He announced his departure, Feb. 7. Prior to his current job, Miles held the position of deputy superintendent in the Park Hill School District in Kansas City, Missouri. The RSD Board of Education voted unanimously to hire Miles. Miles will visit RSD during the week of Monday, March 25.

Care: The district that Miles is currently in has earned top honors in his seven years as superintendent. Niche rated the district as the sixth best public school district in 2019. Indian Hill Exempted Village has a total of 2,028, which will make for an interesting transition for Miles as RSD has 20,857, serving as St. Louis County’s largest school district.


Know: The U.S. is struggling to come to an agreement over border security.

Inform: Seventeen negotiators from the Senate and House of Representatives have been holding talks surrounding border security. The most recent struggle has come up as Democrats are demanding to limit the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. that can be detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  The Democrats would like to limit the number to 16,500. Additionally, the talks have focused on President Donald Trump’s border wall. President Donald Trump shut down the federal government in an attempt to get the funding for his proposed border wall, Dec. 21, 2018. Trump is looking for $5.7 billion to build the wall, a key point he emphasized during his race for President. The fight for the wall previously shut down the government for a record of 35 days.

Care: While Trump signed legislation to end the shutdown, the deal was temporary. Congress had to come up with the funding for the wall within three weeks or the President threatened to shut the government down yet again. The deadline for the funding is Friday, Feb. 15. If the negotiators cannot come up with a deal, another shutdown may be in the U.S.’s future. The last shutdown left over 800,000 without paychecks and skyrocketed unemployment rates.


Know: A wildfire has been ravaging through New Zealand for the past week.

Inform: The wildfire began, Feb. 4. Now, the fire is covering over 5,700 acres and have a 15-mile perimeter. The fire has caused 3,000 people to be evacuated and one house to be lost. Emergency services have deployed 23 helicopters and two planes in an effort to extinguish the fire. The wildfire is believed to be the worst in New Zealand since 1955.  The fire began as a result of a spark from a piece of machinery.

Care: Authorities have said that the fire is expected to burn well into March. Events have been cancelled, roads closed and nearly 700 animals rescued since the fires began. New Zealand officials have also started warning that fires can become more common as the country becomes drier from climate change. Obviously, natural disasters like these can’t be stopped, but knowing and taking the proper precautions can make it easier to deal with these situations.