Dr. Christopher Berger, the Wright City, Missouri, R-II school district superintendent, will retire at the end of the 2023-2024 academic year.
After four years leading the Wright City R-II district, Dr. Chris Berger plans to retire at the end of the school year.
Berger tendered his retirement as the Wright City R-II superintendent at the districts’ board of education meeting Oct. 19. The retirement was accepted by the board of education.
The retirement is effective June 30, 2024.
“When we become eligible to retire, it’s a pull and so I knew that it was possible,” Berger said.
“And I was also open to anywhere from another one to three years probably was kind of the long end. But after becoming eligible and visiting with my family and seeing where we were at as a district, it felt like the right time for that transition.”
Berger is in his 27th year in education. He has served five years as a teacher, seven years as an assistant superintendent and 15 years as a superintendent, including the last four with the Wright City R-II School District.
Prior to working in the Wright City R-II district, Berger said he worked in a district “that was considerably larger.” With two children entering elementary school, Berger gravitated to a district more similar to one in which he was raised.
“Wright City came open and it was exactly what we were looking for,” Berger said. “A smaller district but yet closer to the city and closer to the suburban area and for all the benefits you get from that. So it really just struck the chord with us perfectly. And after four years, I can tell you it was exactly what we were looking for.”
Among the accomplishments for the Wright City R-II district under Berger’s leadership are the passage of Propositions 1967 and 2005, which allowed the district to build a new high school and expand East Elementary. Both projects are in progress. Berger also cited academic achievement improvements, preschool expansion and the five year strategic plan recently approved by the board. There will be a master plan in place for facilities in anticipation of growth coming to Warren County before Berger’s departure.
Berger said he is looking forward to spending time with his family and to focus on his younger children. He still has two children in elementary school.
Overall, Berger said his career as a teacher and administrator has been fulfilling and satisfying.
“I have been very pleased with my career at every level,” Berger said. “There will be a time sometime soon to kind of really take a deeper look retrospectively and be able to consider those things. But it’s been good to me and my family.”
Wright City R-II Board Secretary Mary Groeper through a press release said the district made tremendous strides in Berger’s term of leadership. She characterized his retirement as bittersweet but well deserved.
Board President Austin Jones through the press release also characterized Berger’s retirement as well deserved.
“It is an honor and a privilege to serve alongside someone with such expertise, commitment, and dedication to our students’ success,” Jones said. “During his tenure, we have made significant advancements in district expansion, achieved academic success, and facilitated future growth. It is with ambivalent feelings that the Board of Education has accepted Dr. Berger’s retirement…”
Wright City Mayor Michelle Heileger characterized Berger as “a guiding presence in the Wright City community.”
“He has proven to be a steadfast and vibrant leader, and a good friend,” Heiliger said. “We are so excited for him, but sad for us. He leaves big shoes to fill both in his professional capacity and in his leadership in Wright City. He will be missed.”