Chosen to lead: Dr. Candice Carter-Oliver, CEO, Confluence Charter Schools

Dr. Candice Carter-Oliver has accepted the role of chief executive officer for Confluence Charter Schools. The board of directors chose Carter-Oliver as the first permanent CEO to lead the public charter school network.

Carter-Oliver is the assistant superintendent of academics and support services for Normandy Schools Collaborative. Her career in public education includes being a classroom teacher, a learning coach and an elementary principal in local districts such as Normandy, Riverview Gardens and Saint Louis Public Schools. She’s worked in both diverse and urban school populations. As an elementary principal in SLPS, she led a school with a 40 percent population of English language learners.

In Normandy, she served in leadership roles as chief academic officer, assistant superintendent of schools and assistant superintendent of support services. She is an adjunct assistant professor at University of Missouri-St. Louis, and has attended professional development at Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Carter-Oliver earned a master’s degree, educational specialist and doctoral degree from UMSL and a bachelor of science from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. She is pursuing an executive master of business administration at Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.

On a personal note, Carter-Oliver has an appreciation for the arts in St. Louis. As a child, she danced and performed at the Fox Theatre and other venues.

“I am thrilled to work with the students, staff and school communities of Confluence Charter Schools. I am most committed to ensuring all children achieve at high levels. High expectations, along with high levels of student support, will continue to move us forward,” said Carter-Oliver.

“We are pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Carter-Oliver as the chief executive officer,” said Jose Pineda, Confluence board chair. “She has an extensive background as a teacher and a leader in urban schools. From her personal experience, she understands the link between the arts and education. Dr. Carter-Oliver has been instrumental in Normandy’s academic improvements in her role as assistant superintendent.

“The board is impressed with her background and her commitment to help all students learn. She was selected by the CEO Search Committee and the board from a field of more than 30 applicants.

“Dr. Carter-Oliver will work with the interim CEO, Dr. Peter Kachris, to make the transition. She will assume full responsibility for Confluence schools next semester,” said Pineda.

In the fall of last school year, the board decided to appoint a CEO. Kachris was hired as interim CEO in February 2016. This summer, he asked the board to begin looking for a permanent replacement.

As CEO, Carter-Oliver will be responsible for all aspects of Confluence Charter Schools, including hiring and evaluating leadership staff at each school and at the administrative office. The CEO will be responsible for implementing Confluence’s strategic plan, which focuses on improvements to student achievement, teacher retention, positive culture and maintaining financial stability. The CEO is the only employee who reports directly to the board; all other staff will report to the CEO.

The position is effective on January 1, 2017. The annual salary is $190,000 with a contract term of three years, ending December 31, 2019.

Opened in 2003, Confluence has grown from one campus with 245 students in the Old North St. Louis neighborhood to an annual enrollment of approximately 3,500 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade at five schools in the city of St. Louis.

Schools include Confluence Academy-Old North, Confluence Academy-South City, Aspire Academy (previously known as Confluence Academy-Walnut Park), Confluence Preparatory Academy, which includes Elite Academy at CPA, and Grand Center Arts Academy. Confluence schools are sponsored by University of Missouri-Columbia; GCAA is sponsored by Saint Louis University. Confluence Charter Schools are governed by one board of directors.