Editor's note:Kirkwood-Webster Groves Patch sent the following questions to each of the four candidates for the Kirkwood School District Board of Education. Friday we ran responses from E.J. Miller.
Candidates are running for three open spots on the school board. Board members serve three-year overlapping terms with two or three members elected each year. The election is April 5.
Please provide a brief description of your educational and professional background.
KHS Graduate 1974; Meramec Community College - Associate of Arts 1976; University of Missouri - St. Louis - Bachelor of Science in Business 1978; Webster University - Master of Arts in Management 1992.
I have been in the insurance/employee benefits/managed care industry for the past 26 years. I have directed sales forces for MetLife and Blue Cross of Missouri. I also have directed the insurance operations for The Daniel & Henry Insurance Agency. And six years ago I opened my own insurance agency in Kirkwood, Stream Benefits Group. We work with small and mid-sized businesses as an insurance broker for health, life, disability and dental insurance programs.
How long have you lived in the district?
I am a lifelong resident of the Kirkwood School District.
If you would like to, feel free to provide a brief description of your family and where your children attend, or attended, school?
My wife, also a lifelong resident, graduated from KHS in 1978. We have four children, three of whom have already graduated from KHS: Andy 2005 (Mizzou Masters in Accountancy - CPA. Works for KPMG); Tommy: 2007 (Mizzou Business Degree this spring...plans to attend law school in fall); Whitney: 2009 (Attends University of Arkansas as a sophomore); Madison: KHS Freshman.
Please provide a brief summary of your reasons for running.
As a lifelong resident of the school district, I have witnessed the importance of public education as the backbone of a community. My wife and I are very grateful for the strong education our children have received and I look forward to continuing that tradition.
I have been involved for a number of years volunteering in the schools, community and businesses within Kirkwood. I have brought that knowledge and experience to the school board for the past six years. And I look forward to continue working on the challenges that face the district as we work to educate the students and future residents of our community.
What role do you think the Kirkwood or Webster Groves Board of Education should play in the community?
The Board of Education plays a large role. In Kirkwood, we know that the majority of the children will return to this community at some point in their life. And so in order to ensure a strong community, the education of these students is imperative for the long term viability of our community.
What do you currently see as the biggest issue facing the district?
There are many critical issues on the horizon. But the most important is that we continue to work hard in order to provide innovative and effective ways to educate every student, from the gifted to those with special needs. We must make sure that all of our students find some measure of success. And we must do this during a very difficult economic environment. We must maintain strong fiscal responsibility, doing more with less.
Assume you win the election. What single thing do you want to accomplish during your term on the board?
The board is made up of seven members. I am just one. We all must work together in order to assure a strong educational system for our students.