The Hazelwood School District Board of Education approved a recommendation to promote two principals to the role of assistant superintendent. Dr. Willicia Hobbs, principal of Hazelwood Northwest Middle School, and Dr. Eric Arbetter, principal of Walker Elementary School, will begin their roles as assistant superintendents, effective July 1.
“Dr. Hobbs and Dr. Arbetter are both student-centered, very involved in district-wide professional development and initiatives, and bring a wealth of varied experiences to their new roles,” said Superintendent Dr. Grayling Tobias. “I am confident their leadership and support of our schools will positively impact student achievement.”
Hobbs has more than 25 years of experience in education, serving the past five years as principal at HNWMS. She previously served as an assistant principal in the Parkway School District.
Dr. Willicia Hobbs
She received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Bradley University, a master’s degree in in management development from National Louis University, a master’s degree in elementary education administration from University of Missouri- St. Louis, and a doctorate degree in education from Maryville University.
Dr. Eric Arbetter
Arbetter has more than 16 years of experience in education, serving the past nine years as the principal at Walker Elementary. He previously served as the instructional specialist at Barrington Elementary School. He received his undergraduate degree in English literature and a master’s degree in education from Washington University. He received a doctorate degree in educational administration from University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Dr. Darrell Strong
One of the assistant superintendent positions is open because Dr. Darrell Strong, who has served the last two years as an assistant superintendent for learning, recently expressed his interest in serving as the director of alternative education for HSD.
Strong, a single father, said he would like to dedicate more time to his twin teen-aged sons, who attend Hazelwood Central High School. The director of alternative education position does not require as many evening meetings as the assistant superintendent position.
“I want to spend more time with my boys and be there for them during this important time in their lives,” he said.
“This position also gives me the chance to focus on my passion, which is to help students who need more support,” Strong said. “I look forward to helping HSD review and re-examine the alternative education program.”
Dr. Steve Sandbothe
The second assistant superintendent position will be vacated due to the retirement of Dr. Steve Sandbothe, who has been an assistant superintendent for the past five years. Sandbothe began working for HSD as an intern in 1995, and he has been an assistant principal, associate principal and head middle school principal.
In their new roles, Hobbs and Arbetter will provide support to principals and teachers. We will initiate the hiring process for principals at Walker Elementary and Northwest Middle School shortly.