816 North

Park Hill Board of Education election, 2-year term

Updated: 2013-03-26T19:09:07Z


Special to The Star

Incumbent Todd Burr is hoping to keep his seat away from challengers Josh Blackman and Matt Pepper, although he has hasn’t held the seat for long.

Burr took the post in November 2012 after current member Fred Sanchez resigned. Typically, a board member holds the seat for two years.

All three of the candidates on the April 2 ballot mentioned school safety as a top priority. Burr said he’d like to see students have more access to real-world learning opportunities and Pepper said the district needs to focus on how technology impacts students and their futures. Blackman said it’s important that the district see marked and measured improvements in student learning.

The Park Hill Board of Education is made up of seven members who usually meet on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month.

Todd Burr

Age: 51

Address: 8201 N.W. Roberts Road, Weatherby Lake

Occupation: Independent insurance agent

Education: Bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.

Public experience: Park Hill Board of Education member since November.

Website: N/A

Stances: His priorities are to review the safety measures in Park Hill schools, spending money in a way that most benefits students and continuing to hire quality teachers. Burr also said while the district does a good job of offering curriculum that is directed at college-bound students, he’d like to see more partnerships with local businesses to give students “more hands-on” workforce experience.

Josh Blackman

Age: 36

Address: 6300 N.W. 48th St., Kansas City

Occupation: Small business owner

Education: Bachelor’s degree in business from Emporia State University.

Public experience: Platte County Republican Central Committee, committeeman/secretary.

Website: facebook.com/blackman4students

Stances: His three priorities are not increasing taxes, measurable improvement in learning, and safe and secure schools. He says the district must perform a full review of all its safety and security procedures at each school.

Matt Pepper

Age: 26

Address: 7001 N. Berkley, Kansas City

Occupation: Commercial real estate property manager with USFP Property Management.

Education: Master’s degree in business administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City; bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia

Public experience: N/A

Website: www. pepperforparkhill.com; www.facebook.com/MattPepperForParkHillSchoolBoard

Stances: He said his top three priorities are school safety, fiscal responsibility and preparing students with a 21st century skill set. Pepper said a big challenge is keeping up with the changing technology and information. He cited his relative youth and familiarity with technology as one of his strong points.

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