School board member Julie Backer responds to accusations


Megan Cleveland

Since announcing her retirement Nov. 8, the KSD school board has spent the past two months searching for eligible candidates to fill the position of Dr. Michele Condon, KSD superintendent.

At an impromptu meeting, Kirkwood School District Board of Education President Darnel Frost asked board members to look into censuring fellow board member Julie Backer Feb. 1. Frost then called for Backer to recuse herself from the search for a new district superintendent, claiming she has acted in a disrespectful manner and violated school board policies during her tenure. Backer was not in attendance at the meeting.

In a statement to TKC, Backer said, “I am shocked and dismayed by the actions of Darnel Frost, president of the Kirkwood School Board, and Jean Marie Andrews, school board member, who joined in the attacks on me. I was not at the (February 1) meeting and was not notified that I was on the agenda. It is unprecedented and outrageous that fellow school board members would attack another member publicly so close to re-election. I have been on the board for 6 years, I have the second most experience of anyone on the board and I have the most experience with children going all the way through Kirkwood schools. I have heard from supporters across the school district, including Kirkwood teachers, administrators, parents and community members who are as upset as I am. I am going to continue to take the high road. I am proud of my record working on behalf of students, parents, grandparents and residents of Kirkwood School District.”

Frost and Andrews have not yet commented.

This article will be updated continuously.