1208 S Willard Ave
Joplin, MO 64801
Drury University – Springfield, MO
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, cum laude
I have worked for U.S. Bank for the past 21 years. There I have held many different positions ranging
from teller to Branch Manager to my current position of Private Banking Client Representative. I also am
the Event Coordinator for our Employee Development Network, where I coordinate activities for the
employees ranging from personal development, professional development, and community
I have taken an active role in the community by currently being a Board Member of the Coty of Joplin
Personnel Board, and also member and community partner of the Martin Luther King Jr Board at
Missouri Southern State University. I work directly with many groups as the volunteer community event
coordinator for Development Network within U.S. Bank. Most recently I have worked with Art Feeds,
Bright Futures, Ozarks Food Harvest, United Way, and Habitat for Humanity. Some of the past held
positions include member of the Boys & Girls Club Board, and member of the City of Joplin Human
School District Activities
I am a member of the Parent Forum that is currently meeting once a month to help establish open
communication between the School District and the parents, as well as attend the monthly School Board
meetings. I also have a child that is currently enrolled in Joplin School District, and I do whatever I can to
take an active part in his education.
1. What factors led you to run for the school board?
I have a real passion helping children to succeed. Part of this success comes from the education
that they receive while in the public school system. That is the foundation that they will
springboard off of for many years to come as they venture into adulthood and all that life brings
us. I feel that we owe it to our children to help them with a brighter tomorrow. I want to be a
part of that! Although I have wanted to be on the school board for some time, it just finally
became the time to act on it. I have set on other boards where children are concerned, and feel
that on the school board l can act on my belief that we need to make sure that we are doing the
best that we can to educate our children.
2. How do you see the quality of education for Joplin students when compared to surrounding
districts? Do you believe the quality of education provided for Joplin students is improving?
According to survey conducted by Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE),
we have some areas that need worked on, such as teacher/student ratio, and test scores. With
these things being identified, I believe that yes, the quality of education provided for Joplin
students is improving. Gaining the knowledge was the first part, with an action plan following.
3. What are the critical issues currently facing the Joplin School District? How would you
prioritize these issues?
Financial accountability with the school budget, academic excellence, more teachers, and
community partnership between everyone within the school district (community, teachers,
students, Board, parents). Items are in order.
4. In a district with financial constraints, how would you prioritize the following items (1-12)?
1. Financial reserve
2. Class Size
3. Equitable teacher plan time and workload
4. Salaries and Benefits
5. Professional Development
6. Curriculum Development
9. Building & Grounds
10. Existing Extra and Co-Curricular programs
11. Reducing local tax burden
12. New Programs
5. What factors do you feel will attract and retain a quality teaching staff for Joplin schools?
To attract and maintain quality teacher staff, we need to provide them with a development
program that would include fair salary and benefits, annual teacher survey that would help to
identify training opportunities and needed changes, and a third party exit interview that would
allow us to understand reasons for leaving.
6. What are your thoughts in comparing Joplin teacher salaries to those in surrounding districts
and in other parts of the state? Do you favor a tax levy election campaign that would focus on
competitive salaries to attract and retain quality educators in Joplin?
I think it is important to understand where we as a school district stand when it comes to
teacher salaries. Having comparable salary can increase the likelihood of retaining quality
teachers who would want to leave based on salary alone. Before you start a tax levy campaign,
you need to examine the budget and see if everything is on target as far as spending. Are there
places where the budget can be cleaned up? If it has been examined closely and the
determination is that everything is in align, have we looked at all other funding options that may
be available to alleviate an expense that is currently being paid for out of the operating expense
budget. I think then and only then should we consider a tax levy campaign.
7. How do you view the respective roles of the school board, administration, and employees in
determining the future direction of Joplin schools?
First and foremost, school boards are to look out for students. Education is not a line item on the
school board’s agenda—it is the only item. When making decisions about school programs,
school boards incorporate their community’s view of what students should know and be able to
do. School boards are accessible to the public and accountable for the performance of their
schools, while also being the education watchdog for their communities, ensuring that students
get the best education for the tax dollars spent. The administration is to ensure all schools,
teachers, counselors, are collaborating towards a common goal while improving standards and
opportunities. The employees are the first line of defense, as they are the ones most directly
involved with the children. They will have the insight of what is and what is not working. They
are best to make suggestions to the administration, who in turn make suggestions to the board,
who in turn research and make decisions.
8. How important are student standardized test scores in determining the success of Joplin
schools? How much of a percentage should student test scores be in the evaluation of
Standardized tests are used to evaluate the child, teacher, and school district by answering the
question “is the child learning in class?” Because of this, standardized tests hold a heavy weight
on evaluating the progression of a school district. One of the ways that we can be sure that
Joplin schools are progressing are by their test scores. These scores can help be an excellent
guide for the school district to develop programs in the needed areas. The taxpayer also uses
the tests scores as their measure of how well their tax dollars are being put to use. To a certain
extent, yes, the teacher should be held accountable. It is up to them to ensure that each child is
receiving the education that they deserve.
9. What is your opinion of the Competency Grading system for elementary students?
The competency grading system is one where the learner advances by what they know instead
of advancing by the normal school year. Each child has a different way of learning, so the
competency grading system would allow them to learn at their own pace. Some subjects they
may excel in, while needing to spend quality time on other subjects. Competency grading would
allow for different learning styles, and also different teaching methods.
10. How do you feel about efforts to repeal the current teacher tenure law in Missouri? What do
you see as the main purpose of teacher tenure?
Current Missouri statutes for teacher tenure are that a teacher can reach tenure after five years
with the same school district. It says that the districts have to warn them if they are determined
to be deficient and given time to try and resolve any problems. I see this as a good thing. It will
give the teachers the peace of mind that they will receive due process before any action is taken
towards releasing them of their job. The school district can however fire a teacher, but they
must file written detailed charges. Tenure allows for the teachers to request a public hearing
with the school board. For the Joplin school district, I see tenure serving in the role to help
attract quality teachers, by the benefits that it provides for the teachers, such as the due