a. Chris Sloan
b. 2721 E. 46th Joplin, MO 64804
Attended Joplin Schools 1-6 grades—Irving and South Junior High
Springfield Schools—Cherokee Junior High and Glendale High School
BA in Antiquities from Missouri State University
MDiv Asbury Theological Seminary
C. Career History
a. Throughout college & seminary worked construction and delivery
b. Associate Pastor-Wesley United Methodist, Springfield, MO 1986-88
c. Pastor-Eagle Rock United Methodist, Eagle Rock, MO 1988-1990
d. Founding & Senior Pastor Christ’s Community United Methodist,
D. Civic/Community Activities
a. Habitat for Humanity Board
b. Wildcat Glades Conservation Board
c. Joplin Fire Department Chaplain
d. Officer Newton Co. Rescue
e. Coach Youth Sports-soccer, softball, etc.
E. School District Activities
a. Joplin Booster Club/Concessions-more years than I can count-chief
b. Project Graduation-2 years
c. Joplin High School Prom-3 years
d. Sock hop/Carnival worker
e. A dad who attended many a middle school and high school volleyball,
Joplin, MO 1990-present
girl’s basketball, track meets, cheer and dance games/performances
1. What factors led you to decide to run for the school board? I have been
pleased with the positive changes I see beginning with Joplin Schools
recently, and I hope to further those positive changes.
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?
My two daughters attended Joplin schools, Stephanie ’03 and Mallorie
’06, and I have been disturbed to see the recent downward trend.
Both my daughters received great educations in Joplin schools, but in
the last few years the schools have been more interested in publicity
spin rather than educating our students. I hope to return to the
common sense education that we had in the past while looking to the
future of Joplin and its citizens.
3. What are the critical issues currently facing the Joplin school district?
How would you prioritize these issues?
a. Financial stability and responsibility: We need to endeavor to make
our teachers salaries and benefits competitive to return this district to
a district of choice for teachers and staff. We also need to balance this
with fiscal responsibility.
b. Trust at all levels of the Joplin Schools: We have a lack of trust-
especially between the buildings and central office. We need to make
the central office staff a support for our building personnel, while we
need a superintendent that is looking to the future of the school
c. A return to common sense education: A classroom teacher best
knows what his/her students need as far as programs and support.
The school principals, classroom teachers and parents need more
voice/choice in the education of their students, and we as a district
need to quit allowing expensive consultants to try to tell us what our
4. In a district with financial constraints, how would you prioritize the
following items: RANK
1. Building & Grounds 3
2. Class Size 2
3. Curriculum Development 12
4. Equitable teacher plan time and workload 5
5. Existing Extra and Co-Curricular programs 11
6. Financial Reserve 4
7. New Programs 10
8. Professional Development 9
9. Reducing local tax burden 6
10. Salaries and benefits (maintaining) 1
11. Technology 7
12. Transportation 8
I am not even sure items such as curriculum, new programs, and the extra/co-
curricular programs fall under the school board’s domain, so these are low on the
As stated in #3 the board needs to make sure that the teacher’s salaries/benefits are
attractive to both new and current teachers. We should endeavor to make our class
sizes at all grades a priority. If the teacher plan time and workload is not currently
equitable this needs to be addressed. We also need to address the inequities among
our buildings-especially we need to make sure all of our elementary schools are as
equivalent as possible.
5. What factors do you feel will attract and retain a quality teaching staff
for Joplin Schools.
First, the district needs to make sure we have an attractive pay/benefits
package, as well as a pay scale with non-negotiable steps (obviously with normal
economic times. Second, Joplin Schools needs to have clear discipline plans and
procedures so our teachers know they are supported in the classroom. Finally,
we need to de-centralize the daily decision making process. We need to
empower our principals and teachers to lead the educational process.
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?
When looking at district data compared to surrounding districts, we do have
some catch-up on our salaries fortunately we do not have a huge hurdle. I feel if we
can improve the working conditions for our teachers, and work to increase salaries
and benefits we can compete. I currently do not support a tax levy because I do not
feel with the current feelings in the community that we could successfully pass such
7. How do you view the respective roles of the school board,
administration and employees in determining the future direction of Joplin
schools? The main focus of the school board should be to hire and retain the best
superintendent possible-one who has a vision for the schools, and not for
themselves. The board should also handle budgetary and overarching policy
decisions. The administration should handle district-wide issues, but day to day
decisions should be with the teachers/principals/staff of the buildings—they are
better equipped to handle those 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 teachers? Unfortunately, we do have to look to
student scores as a portion of our district focus since much of our accreditation and
possibly funding can rest on those scores. I feel as a district it should only be one
benchmark in determining our success. Since we are a public school in Missouri, we
must abide by state board of education decisions as to the weight scores are given in
teacher evaluations and school accreditation.
9. What is your opinion of the Competency Grading system for elementary
students? I am currently researching this, but many elementary teachers are
on board with this.
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? Again, if
the state of Missouri elects to abolish tenure then we as a Missouri public school will
abide by the state law. Personally, I see tenure as a safety net for teachers, in its
original inception the point was to protect the teacher from vindictive parents-
perhaps in smaller districts where a poor grade or cut from a team could get a
teacher fired. I have no problem with teacher tenure. We do however, as district
need to ensure that only the best possible teachers receive tenure. This means we
need to take very seriously the teacher evaluation process and make sure we are
supporting new teachers so that they are growing and improving as professional