Maryville University to Host School Law Seminar


ST. LOUIS — In the St. Louis area, everyone prepares for the start of the school year in different ways. Students stock up on school supplies. Teachers decorate their classrooms. And for almost a quarter of a century, principals and superintendents have received updates on the latest legal issues facing school districts. That tradition continues this year but in a new location as Maryville University will host the 24th annual School Law Seminar on Thursday, Aug. 9, in the University Auditorium. Organizers expect about 220 school administrators to attend.

The Chesterfield law firm of Doster Mickes James Ullom Benson & Guest, LLC, sponsors the annual one-day symposium, which includes presentations on numerous topics, including safety, employee bargaining, student use of technology, student discipline and free speech. Co-sponsored by a bevy of state education organizations, including the Missouri Association of School Administrators, the seminars are held across the state each year during the first two weeks of August.

“Most principals start work around August 1 so this is a logical time to hold these seminars,” said Tom Mickes, a partner in the law firm. Mickes said he decided to hold the seminar at Maryville at the invitation of a longtime colleague and friend, Keith Kinder, Ed.D., associate professor of educational leadership with Maryville University’s School of Education. Mickes said he gladly accepted Kinder’s invitation, noting the outstanding reputation of Maryville’s School of Education and in recognition of its new doctoral program in educational leadership.

Mickes said the necessity to hold school law seminars is “just a reality” of today’s litigious society. In fact, two recent prominent U.S. Supreme Court decisions concerned school law issues. One was a desegregation case that originated in Louisville, and the other involved a student’s right to free speech at a high school in Alaska. Mickes said more mention will be made at the August 9 seminar of the free speech case. Public school administrators do not have control over which students attend their school, he remarked.

Mickes is a former school administrator, having served as principal of Pacific High School and superintendent of the Meramec Valley School District in the 1970s. He left the field in the late 1970s to attend law school and has practiced law for about 25 years. Currently, he also serves as an adjunct instructor in Maryville University’s School of Education, teaching a doctoral-level course on school law.

For more information on the August 9 School Law Seminar, click on:

Maryville University, founded in 1872, is a private, coeducational institution offering approximately 50 undergraduate, seven master’s and two doctoral degree programs to 3,300 students. Ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of America’s Best Colleges in the Midwest, Maryville University prepares its students for successful and meaningful careers by offering programs that integrate liberal arts with professional studies.

Among Maryville’s most recent graduates, 94 percent are employed or attending graduate school. Approximately 15,000 alumni work and live in the St. Louis region.