Stepping Away from the Ville: Pecoraro Retires


Pattonville School-Community Relations

After serving superintendent for four years, and being in education for nearly 30 years, Dr. Pecoraro will retire at the end of the school year. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Barry Nelson will become the next superintendent of the school district.

After serving in the district for 21 years, most recently as superintendent for the past four years, Dr. Tim Pecoraro will officially be retiring at the end of the 2021-2022 school year.

Before coming back to Pattonville in 2000, Dr. Pecoraro taught fifth grade students at John Weldon Elementary School in Francis Howell. During his seven years there, he also served as an administrative intern and assistant principal.

“When I was in college, I always thought I wanted to be a high school history teacher and wrestling coach,” Dr. Pecoraro said. “But, when I was at UMSL, I had some opportunities to be around younger kids, and I realized I really wanted to be an elementary teacher.”

“I really liked that idea of being able to impact a class full of kids, and that really got me wanting to go into administration for a chance to impact more kids,” he added.

Dr. Pecoraro graduated from Pattonville in 1989 and always wanted to come back to work in Pattonville.

“When I had a chance to come here as an elementary school principal at Briar Crest, being the superintendent is the favorite job I have ever had, but the close second was being an elementary principal.”

When looking back at his time as superintendent, Dr. Pecoraro said that one of the biggest impacts he left on the district was navigating through the pandemic.

“The first and second year [of being superintendent] was a totally different job than these last two years have been,” Pecoraro said.

“As hard as the pandemic issues were, I am proud of how Pattonville really navigated that,” he said. “I think we had to make hard decisions, but when I look back and compare ourselves to other districts, and other places in the country, I have very few decisions I would make differently today. I’m proud of that because we had never experienced that, and we were not getting a lot of advice from people, so we were just making those decisions based on getting input from people that had different points of view and trying to do the best thing.”

“My hope is that as things have gotten more back to normal; the learning loss you hear about will hopefully be pretty minimal for Pattonville students and we will look back 10 years from now and be really proud of how we were able to navigate that,” he added.

Pecoraro plans to spend more time with his family once he retires.

“One of the things about these jobs is that it does really take a lot of time,” he said. “I have a daughter who is 25, and a son who is 20, so spending more time with them and my wife and doing some traveling is number one.”

Dr. Barry Nelson, current assistant superintendent, will become superintendent of the district following Dr. Pecoraro’s retirement.

Dr. Nelson met Pecoraro at Pattonville and has known him for about 24 years.

“[Dr. Pecoraro] and I started as principals the same year at Pattonville, so I had a chance to work with him as principals and he was a great colleague,” Dr. Nelson said.

“He was someone I could always reach out to, connect with, and we did a lot of problem-solving together on how to work through different things,” Nelson added.

“When I became Assistant Superintendent of HR, I worked side by side with him, and it almost felt like we were back as principals,” he said.

One of the biggest challenges Dr. Nelson thinks he will face as superintendent is making sure that Pattonville is preparing kids in the best way possible to help them find success.

“Kids are obviously all at a different place coming out of the pandemic, and kids have different needs, both academically and socially, so just making sure that as a school district we are providing the right programs, the right type of instruction, the right structures, to help all kids be successful,” he said.

Dr. Nelson wants the community to know that he is committed to Pattonville.

“I’m committed to putting the time, effort, and energy to help the district be the very best district we can possibly be. I’m ready to do the work, put in the effort, and continue to move things forward in the best direction possible.”

It’s been my privilege and honor to have a chance to serve as superintendent. It’s truly been the best years of my life, and I’ll always be a Pattonville Pirate.

— Dr. Tim Pecoraro, Superintendent

Dr. Nelson wanted to thank Dr. Pecoraro for his time and service at Pattonville.

“I thank him for all of his guidance and leadership he has provided me over the years, he’s been a great mentor, a great role model, and I feel privileged to work with him and have the opportunity to follow him as superintendent; the district is in a really good place under his leadership, and I look forward to taking the reigns of a very high-quality school district that he has had a huge hand in making.”

To say goodbye and congratulate Dr. Pecoraro, fill out this Google Form here.