Wright City says goodbye to Chris Berger

By Kelly Bowen, Staff Writer
Posted 7/3/24

Nearly four years ago, Chris Berger arrived for his first day at Wright City R-II School District as the new superintendent. It was July 2020 and times were still uncertain. Four years later, Berger …

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Wright City says goodbye to Chris Berger

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Nearly four years ago, Chris Berger arrived for his first day at Wright City R-II School District as the new superintendent. It was July 2020 and times were still uncertain.

Four years later, Berger has left the Wildcats knowing he accomplished the passing of Propositions 1967 and 2005, the creation of a strategic master plan, navigating COVID and keeping the district open and helping put Wright City in the top 25% of the state in performance.

Berger officially retired from his role as superintendent on July 1. Even with the positive impact Berger made on the district, he noted that the memories and people are what he will cherish the most.

“Wright City is a special place and it’s because of the people,” Berger said.

Berger plans on relocating back to Conway, Missouri where he owns a small farm and also served as superintendent in their school district for five years. He noted that he and his family made a commitment to move back there one day after his retirement.

Berger also has four daughters from ages three to 10. He added his kids were excited that he would be able to spend more time with them and he was looking forward to being able to take them to school more and attend more of their functions.

“In my retirement, I am going to be chasing those girls,” Berger laughed.

Throughout his career at Wright City, Berger noted one memory that has stuck out to him.

When Wright City was voting on Propositions 1967 and 2005, Berger, his colleagues and others from the community attended a watch party at Railhouse. The room was full and the cheers were loud when the props passed.

“There were different people from our community that supported our efforts and it was just this huge celebration,” Berger said. “We just knew it was going to have such an impact on our community.”

Berger noted he will certainly miss making an impact on the kids and his colleagues that he grew close with.

“There’s a lot of negativity that has been aimed at public education in the last four or five years, so I’m going to miss fighting the good fight and doing good things for the kids...Secondly, I’ll miss my colleagues. It was a super close admin team and support team,” Berger said.

Berger may have left the position, but the impacts of his accomplishments, such as the masterplan and the continuous school improvement plan along with the connections he made, will be felt in the district for a long time.

Dr. Amy Salvo will take Berger’s place on July 1. Salvo is a Wright City High School alum.

Berger is completely confident Salvo will be able to build on what the district has already accomplished in the past few years.

“I’m very proud of both the [master plan and continuous school improvement plan] but they will need annual revisions and Dr. Salvo is more than capable of those course corrections,” Berger said.

Berger has now officially retired after 27 years in education and will focus on enjoying some time with his four young daughters.


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