Best Bureaucrat - 2008
Rick Sullivan, CEO
St. Louis Public Schools Special Administrative Board
Don't recognize the name? All the more reason Rick Sullivan is this year's finest unelected official. Since being appointed to oversee the St. Louis Public Schools last year, Sullivan has quietly worked to restore the troubled school district. That he's done so without the histrionics and backstabbing of recent school board leaders says a great deal about Sullivan's character. Diligent, humble and willing to listen, Sullivan now must cut $30 million to balance the district's budget, hire a new superintendent and improve student test scores — all while competing for state funds with an ever-growing number of charter schools. Change is not going to occur overnight, but thanks to Sullivan and his cohorts on the Special Administrative Board (Melanie Adams and Richard Gaines), there's hope city schools might finally live up to their potential.