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.
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.
Briefly describe your educational and professional background.
I am an attorney in private practice in Clayton, where I practice corporate and business law with a concentration in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, commercial real estate and finance. I am a member of The Missouri Bar, Illinois State Bar Association, Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis and the Association for Corporate Growth. I am a graduate of Washington University School of Law (JD 1989), Georgetown University (AB 1983) and DeSmet Jesuit High School (1979).
How long have you lived in the district?
My wife, Christine, and I have lived in the Kirkwood School District since 1998.
If you would like to, feel free to provide a brief description of your family and where your children attend, or attended, school?
Our daughter, Katherine, is a sixth grader at Nipher Middle School, and our son, John, attends North Glendale Elementary where he is completing fifth grade.
Please provide a brief summary of your reasons for running.
I am running for the Kirkwood School Board, because I am committed to excellence in education for each and every child that attends our schools. While recent success gives us much to be proud of, our challenge for the future is to ensure that we do not simply prepare our students to be excellent test takers. Instead, I believe we should aspire to graduate well rounded individuals prepared to take on the challenges of the 21st century. Our broader goal should be to attain national recognition as a Top 100 public school district.
What role do you think the Kirkwood Board of Education should play in the community?
Our community has generously supported the Kirkwood School District. We are fortunate to attract the best educated and motivated teachers and administrators in the St. Louis area. Armed with these resources, I believe it is the Kirkwood Board of Education’s continuing responsibility to provide the oversight and leadership necessary to empower our students and to help them achieve great things, whatever their calling and whatever their talents.
What do you currently see as the biggest issue facing the district?
The current economic conditions and the consequent stress placed on the district’s budget will continue to challenge the district in the days ahead. I believe before we make any decisions regarding taxes, budget cuts or reductions in opportunities for our children, we need to ask some fundamental question: Are we being as efficient as possible? Are we willing to compromise quality? Are excellent schools a luxury we can afford – for you and for the community at-large?
I am running for the Kirkwood School Board, because I am committed to excellence in education for every child of this district. So, when answering these questions, I want you to know: I’m not willing to compromise quality. And that I believe excellent schools are not a luxury, they are a necessity.
Assume you win the election. What single thing do you want to accomplish during your term on the board?
Provide the leadership necessary to empower our students and to help them achieve great things, whatever their calling and whatever their talents.