816 North

Candidates focus on state funding, technology

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Of the five candidates running in the Excelsior Springs Board of Education race, two are incumbents and three total will find their way to the board after April 4.

The district, which last year had nearly 3,000 students spread out among its six school buildings, is served by a seven-member elected board. Incumbents Kristi Shewell and Stephen Houck face Andrew Starkebaum, Terilee Mahurin and Rachel Brown for the spots.

Houck, an educator by trade, said the district has strong social and academic programs and great facilities.

He said he believes the board’s direction has been working, and that the biggest issue is the unknown with regards to funding from the state.

“We have a very compatible school board as of right now and we have a good administrative team,” he said.

“When it is needed, we meet and have workshops and kind of troubleshoot through the various scenarios.”

He plans to continue supporting these workshops and professional development district-wide.

Starkebaum said he wants to support educators to implement new technologies and approaches in the classroom. He also wants to focus on competitive pay to attract and retain teachers.

“Great things happen when the student’s success is put at the forefront of any decision regarding positive changes for the entire system and everyone is in agreement,” he said.

He also pointed to his employment connection to the city as one of his strengths.

“I am currently employed by the city of Excelsior Springs and I hope to create a stronger tie between the board of education and the community,” he said.

The three elected members will serve three-year terms.

Terilee Mahurin, Kristi Shewell, Rachel Brown and Stephen Houck did not respond to The Star’s request for comment.

Andrew Starkebaum

Age: 45

Address: 13566 Little Farm Road, Excelsior Springs

Occupation: GIS Coordinator for the city of Excelsior Springs

Education: Master’s certificate in GIS Sciences from Northwest Missouri State University, 2005

Public experience: N/A

Website: N/A

Stephen Houck

Age: 53

Address: 29411 NE 114th St., Excelsior Springs

Occupation: High school chemistry science teacher in Richmond district

Education: Bachelor’s degree in business administration and management and in chemistry and education, William Jewell; doctorate degree in school administration from the University of St. Louis, 2008

Public experience: Excelsior Springs School Board, 2001 to present

Website: N/A