Dr. Chris Kilbride became the 14th Superintendent of Schools for the Ritenour School District on July 1, 2012.
Kilbride is entering his 11th year as Superintendent of Ritenour and is tied for the third longest superintendent tenure in the district’s illustrious 155-year history.
A well respected and talented educator who began his career as a classroom teacher, Kilbride has always made student learning and achievement the focus of his work. He truly wants to make a difference for children in the district.
His educational philosophy is simple, “We want every child learning and growing at high levels every single day. We are committed to helping all children achieve their educational goals.”
Kilbride has been recognized locally, regionally and nationally for his leadership and innovative work to improve student learning and outcomes.
Some of programs and initiatives include:
- To help serve the needs of one of its fastest-growing student populations, English Language Learners, Ritenour opened a one-classroom school for immigrant high-school students in 2016. Since then, the International Welcome Center has become a tremendous success and is recognized as the top program of its kind in the St. Louis region. In 2017, the program expanded to an entire floor to offer intensive language and wrap-around services to middle school-age and high-school-age immigrant students.
- The highly-successful Ritenour Center for Gifted Education was established in 2016. The center serves students in grades 2-5.
- Ritenour opened Husky Academy in 2016, which expanded the district alternative programs that support the district’s goal graduating 100 percent of students prepared for success in college or career.
- Transportation services were brought “in-house” in 2016 after decades of contracted bus services. The new transportation service has improved customer service and has a nearly perfect on-time rating.
- The district now offers more opportunities for secondary students to succeed after high school, including offering the Seal of Biliteracy, Ready to Work Program, JROTC and dual credit and dual enrollment options for high school students through St. Louis Community College.
- Ritenour High School students are annually being accepted to the nation’s top colleges and universities. The class of 2019 broke the school record for the number of seniors who were accepted by early decision with full scholarships with seven seniors accepted by Washington University, Franklin & Marshall College, Lehigh University and University of Chicago.
- To help better connect families to the school district, Dr. Kilbride started the Ritenour Parent Advocacy Center in 2017. The center provides training to parents of K-12 students in the Ritenour School District on topics designed to help them with their student’s educational journey.
- The Legislative Advocacy Committee was formed by Dr. Kilbride in 2013 to study public policy issues that have an impact on the Ritenour School District. It is one of the largest legislative committees in the region.
- In 2019, Ritenour opened the Husky Health Center to serve the pediatric medical and behavioral health needs of enrolled Ritenour students in grades preK-12.
- As part of a commitment to 21st century learning, Ritenour became a 1:1 technology district in 2020, meaning all district students have access to an electronic device for learning.
- In 2021, Ritenour officially opened the new Husky Support Center and Ritenour Co-Care Food Pantry. The food pantry has grown into the second largest pantry in the St. Louis area and serves more than 800 district families per month.
- Through Dr. Kilbride’s commitment to all learners in the district, the Ritenour School District offered no-cost early childhood education for district residents starting with the 2022-2023 school year.
Kilbride’s steadfast leadership and guidance provided balance and clarity at a time of chaos during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the spring of 2022, a documentary titled “Unmasked, Lessons Learned During the Pandemic” highlighted the amazing work of Ritenour educators. The documentary was produced by KSDK-TV in St. Louis. Visit this link to watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qiAjC1aDKo
The Ritenour School District was chosen by the St. Louis Community College – Florissant Valley (STLCC) MLK Celebration Committee to receive the Dr. Rance Thomas Excellence in Community Partnership Award for 2019.
Kilbride was named chairman of the North County Incorporated Board of Directors in 2018. He was also appointed to the EducationPlus Board of Directors in 2016 and served as the Chairman of the Board from 2018-2019.
The Missouri School Public Relations Association (MOSPRA) named Kilbride its 2018 Administrator of the Year. The award is given to a school administrator who exhibits excellent communication skills and supports open communications in his or her school district.
He was named the 2016 Administrator of the Year by the Missouri Interscholastic Press Association (MIPA) for his outstanding support of Ritenour High School’s student journalism program.
Kilbride was named one of North County Incorporated’s 30 Leaders in their Thirties in 2009. He is actively involved with the Ritenour Co-Care Food Pantry, the Overland Business Development Committee and Overland Business Association.
Kilbride began his educational career as a teacher at Stevens Middle School in Wilmington, Ill. in 1998. He joined Ritenour in 1999 as a seventh-grade teacher at Hoech Middle School (1999-2002) before becoming the director of Professional Development from 2002-2004. For three years (2004-07), Kilbride served as assistant principal (2004-2006) and interim principal (2006-2007) at Kratz Elementary. Prior to being named Ritenour’s Superintendent, Kilbride was principal at Buder Elementary for five years (2007-2012).
Kilbride holds a Doctor of Education degree from Saint Louis University (SLU), a Master of Arts in Education from SLU and an undergraduate degree in elementary education from Eureka College in Eureka, Ill. He holds Missouri Superintendent Certification.
He and his wife, Sally, have two children – Declan and Sadie.