Ladue Administrator Will Be Brentwood's New Assistant Superintendent
She's been an administrator for 11 years, but still considers herself a teacher.
Dr. Joan Oakley, assistant superintendent of educational leadership in the Ladue School District, will join the Brentwood School District as assistant superintendent.
She succeeds David Faulkner, who will become superintendent in July. Faulkner will succeed Dr. Charles Penberthy, who is retiring after this year.
Oakley previously served as the director of student services and an assistant principal at Ladue Horton Watkins High School.
“I am thrilled to be the new assistant superintendent in Brentwood,” she said.
Some Brentwood teachers and administrators already know Oakley. She has worked with many of them, including Faulkner, for the past nine years in a collaborative school. The alternative program is shared by Brentwood, Ladue and Clayton schools.
“I’ve really been impressed with the focus on students,” she said. “There's a sense of community and pride in the schools, and I’m feeling very excited about the opportunity to be a part of that.”
Before joining the Ladue School District, she was an administrative intern at Sorrento Springs Elementary School in the Parkway School District, where she also taught arts, humanities and gifted courses. In the Rockwood School District, she taught kindergarten through fifth grade gifted courses and high school Advanced Placement courses.
Oakley has been an administrator for 11 years but still considers herself a teacher. She said her big-picture view can be helpful to parents when they’re trying to navigate schools.
“I always want to be perceived as approachable,” Oakley said, “and someone you can always call and talk to and bounce on idea off of.”
She’s been talking with Faulkner about setting up times to meet the families and staff at each school to learn about their projects and challenges. She’ll also start going to Brentwood Board of Education meetings when appropriate.
"I’ve asked to be on as many email lists as they can provide me,” she said, “keeping up with their websites, reading Patch to make sure I know what’s going on in the community."
She said because she’s worked closely with Faulkner in the past, she knows his priorities and his ideas for big projects.
“We’ve consulted each other on a variety of things, so I feel like I know what I’m jumping into,” she said.
Oakley received her doctorate in educational leadership, a master's in educational processes, and a bachelor's in communications from Maryville University.