The past few years haven’t been consistent for the Park Hill School District.
By KATHLEEN POINTER
Special to The Star
Incumbents Todd Fane and Susan Newburger don’t want to be added to the long list of Park Hill School board members who have been replaced in recent years. And challengers Sherri Scott and Jeffrey Goodwin echoed the incumbents’ concern that it’s time for the district to refocus on educating kids.
All the candidates on the April 2 ballot who answered questions also voiced the need to give students and staff as many options as possible when it comes to up-to-date technology and community resources to help student better prepare for college and the workforce. Both Fane and Newburger said they support the FLiP (Future Learner Project) and Advanced Career Studies programs.
Edward Stephens did not respond to questions. When he ran for a seat on the school board last year, he drew opposition for his criticism of racial diversity in the curriculum and for suggesting that the district spends too much money on special needs students at the expense of accelerated students. He also advocated no tolerance of drugs or violence and was concerned about transparency in the school board’s decisions.
There are two open seats for the three-year term.
Age: 44 ( 3/20/68)
Address: 5516 Spinnaker Pointe, Parkville
Occupation: Realtor with Re/MAX Results; formerly a special education teacher and a small business owner
Education: Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in communications from the University of Missouri-Kansas City; special education teaching certification from the University of Houston, Clear Lake; licensed Missouri Realtor.
Public experience: Principal search committee for English Landing Elementary; Continuous School Improvement Plan committee; Capital Planning committee
Stances: Scott said it’s important the district continues to remain proactive rather than reactive when it comes to school safety. She said it’s important the district keeps up with resources, both for staff and students.
Address: 7901 Westside Drive, Weatherby Lake
Occupation: President of Complete Home Concepts
Education: Master’s degree in business administration from Rockhurst University; bachelor’s degree in management from MidAmerica Nazarene University.
Public experience: Current board member; home builders association of Greater Kansas City; RQLD Levy Board of Supervisors.
Stances: Goodwin said it’s important the district stays current with the most appropriate educational technology. He said the district is grappling with budget constraints from the state’s inability to fully schools. He said if the district needed to go to the public for a tax increase it would have to be done with a clear plan of how the money would be used.
Address: 6410 N.W. Monticello Drive, Parkville
Occupation: Retired, formerly a Park Hill teacher. Taught journalism and English for 24 years.
Education: Master’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas; bachelor’s degree in English and psychology from Culver-Stockton College.
Public experience: Member of the Park Hill school board since 2010, currently board vice-president.
Website: On Facebook “Susan Newburger for Park Hill School Board”
Stances: Newburger supports the district-wide roll-out of two pilot programs: FLiP , which emphasized 21st century learning skills and Advanced Career Studies. She said while it’s important for board members to be apolitical, it’s also key that they advocate for the students in the district and respond to community needs.
Address: 4106 N.W. Linden Road, Kansas City
Occupation: Vice-president of sales with WebTPA
Education: Master’s degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University, bachelor’s degree in biology, business administration and economics.
Public experience: Current board president; a Missouri School Board Association advanced certified board member.
Website: On Facebook “Todd Fane 4 Education”
Stances: His top priorities are student safety, college and career readiness, and fortifying early childhood and summer school programs to continue targeting students who need extra assistance. He said the most effective change the district can make is deploying technology and special programs that ensure relevancy and career readiness.