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The Lake News Online
  • Meet the candidates for the Camdenton School Board

  • When Camdenton School District voters go to the polls April 2, there will be several candidates seeking two open positions on the board of education.
    Five candidates have filled to fill the positions currently held by Nancy Masterson and Jim Besancenez.
    Other candidates are Darin Keim, Bill Moulder and Tom Williams.
    The Lake Sun submitted several questions to each candidate, and their responses are as follows:
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  • When Camdenton School District voters go to the polls April 2, there will be several candidates seeking two open positions on the board of education.
    Five candidates have filled to fill the positions currently held by Nancy Masterson and Jim Besancenez.
    Other candidates are Darin Keim, Bill Moulder and Tom Williams.
    The Lake Sun submitted several questions to each candidate, and their responses are as follows:


    Jim Besancenez
    Bio:
    I am Jim "Mr. B" Besancenez: husband, father, "Papa", retired 6th grade teacher, sports supervisor, hunter, fisherman, golfer, outdoorsman, church greeter, and friend. I have been a resident of Camden County for 33 years. I am a retired elementary teacher of 31 years--29 of those being in the Camdenton R-III District. I have a Bachelor of Science and a Master's Degree in Elementary Education and a Master's Degree in Administration from SBU in Bolivar. I am a member of First Baptist Church in Camdenton. The Camdenton School District has been an important part of mine and my wife, Kathy's, lives. We spent a combined 57 years teaching children in this community.
    How many children you currently have attending school in Camdenton or
    have had graduate from Camdenton?
    All three of our children and daughter-in-law graduated from Camdenton.
    What other offices/seats you have held?
    Over the past 3 years, I have had the honor of serving our community as a member of the Camdenton RIII School Board. I have been on the board of directors at Lake Valley Golf Course and was president of that board for 3 years.
    Why I am running for the Camdenton School Board:
    I continue to keep the needs of the students my priority. Providing the best educational programs available to them is an important challenge for our board. Education is the key to success.
    I commit to focus on the finances of our school. In the past 3 years, I have honored the commitment I made to be a careful steward of your tax dollars. I have also made myself accessible to the patrons of our district. My door is always open and I want to hear from you as I have for the past 3 years. It is important for our community to take ownership of our school for it to be a success.
    I pledge to continue to offer transparency and accountability. I will do my very best to act as a guardian of this great district.
    I would appreciate the opportunity to serve you for another 3 years.
    Darin Keim
    Bio:
    I graduated high school in 1989 and proceeded to the Army where I served as a Power Generation Equipment Specialist. I served in Operation Desert storm through the summer of 1991 and returned home as a veteran to marry my childhood sweetheart, Laura. I am the President and General Manager of Big Surf Waterpark and oversee all manners of operations including maintenance, budgets, and communications with the Board of Directors.
    Page 2 of 5 - How many children you currently have attending school in Camdenton or
    have had graduate from Camdenton?
    Laura and I currently have two children attending Camdenton schools and one son who is a Camdenton graduate and is now pursuing an engineering degree at University of Missouri in Kansas City.
    What other offices/seats you have held?
    I serve on the Board of Directors for the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitors Bureau and am President of my local homeowners' association. As a volunteer, I have coached community baseball, basketball and football and was involved in the Awanas program at my church. Currently, I am a Buddy Pack Program team leader. This is my first campaign experience.
    Why are you running for the Camdenton School Board:
    I have and always will be intimately involved in my children's education. As the school board is an integral part of making sure that every student receives the greatest chances at succeeding in school and beyond into their life's work, I have long felt that this would be an opportunity that I would be interested in. My experiences with raising children, working with students and running a successful business make me uniquely qualified and would bring a well-rounded and sensible voice to the table. Additionally, I am equally concerned about the fiscal responsibility that our school board owes to the taxpaying community and have extensive experience in working with budgets, payrolls and maintenance issues. As this district is on the threshold of major expansion, I feel that my business leadership and management skills are an asset that will help the Camdenton R-III schools move forward rapidly and efficiently.
    Nancy Masterson
    Bio:
    I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary and Special Education from the University of Missouri – Columbia, and Master's coursework in Park Administration and Recreation also at MU.
    I taught at Jefferson Junior High School in Columbia, MO after graduation, teaching 8th & 9th grade students in a special education self-contained classroom.
    I moved to the Lake of the Ozarks area in 1976 to start my career with the Missouri State Park system. I was Assistant Park Superintendent at Lake of the Ozarks State Park and later appointed as the first Park Superintendent at Ha Ha Tonka State Park continuing in that position today. It has been my privilege to work in Missouri State Parks for38 years (two summers during my teaching years) and truly blessed to be stationed in our wonderful lake area.
    I met my husband John, after relocating to Osage Beach and we raised our children in this welcoming and caring community which offers great opportunities to families. Member of St. Anthony's church. Serves on the Board of the Lake of the Ozarks Developmental Center. Family receives priority in my free time followed by being an avid reader, sewing and traveling as our schedule permits
    Page 3 of 5 - How many children you currently have attending school in Camdenton or have had graduate from Camdenton?
    All three of my children attended Camdenton R-III schools and had a quality education that prepared them to be successful in college and beyond. Jennifer is a 1998 graduate of Camdenton High School and she graduated from Missouri State University (formerly SMS). Jennifer is a Human Resource Supervisor for a national firm based in St. Louis. Robert is a 2002 graduate of Camdenton High School. He graduated from Drury University and the University of Missouri- Kansas City School of Dentistry. Robert is a Captain in the United States Army working in a dental clinic on the SPAPE NATO Base in Belgium. Laura is a 2005 graduate of Camdenton High School. She attended OTC utilizing A+ funds and graduated from Drury University. Laura is currently attending Missouri State University and she will graduate with a Masters Degree in Speech and Language Pathology in May 2013.
    What other offices/seats you have held?
    I have served on the Camdenton Board of Education for the past fifteen years and President of the Board for the past two years. I currently serve on the Region 8 Leadership committee of the Missouri School Boards Association and served on their statewide Board of Directors. My participation in this group has allowed me to network and discuss issues in education which may affect our school district. This group has helped me become attuned to our larger role in legislative advocacy because ultimately decisions made in Jefferson City and in Washington, DC regarding funding and mandates will be felt in our local community.
    Why I am running for the Camdenton School Board:
    In the 1990's, I became acquainted with the Board of Education after approaching them with an issue. After that experience I felt a calling to give back to the community by volunteering my time to serve on the board. Many aspects of my park career serve to make me a well-rounded member of the board. Those areas are personnel, public relations, construction, budget planning and management. The activities I enjoy in both my jobs as a park manager and school board member are when I can interact with children and adults. We are all here to make the world a better place – education is the catalyst! It is my goal to keep our school district a great place that educates all of our students to be productive adults and leaders. Students are our future and teachers are our most valuable asset. I hope voters will support me with their vote.
    Bill Moulder
    Bio:
    I have attended Drury where I studied Wildlife Management, University of Missouri where I studied Forestry Management and Wilderness Management, Longview Community College where I studied Polygraph sciences.
    How many children you currently have attending school in Camdenton or have had graduate from Camdenton?
    Page 4 of 5 - My wife Jodi and I have two daughters, Kristin who graduated in 2012 and is attending Maryville University in St. Louis pursuing a degree in Music Therapy, and Katie who is a junior at Camdenton.
    What other offices/seats you have held.
    I have served on the CADV board. I was a founding member of Kids Harbor. I served 6 years on the Mid-County Fire Protection Board, and was a member of the St. Anthony's Church council.
    Why are you running for the Camdenton School Board.
    I am running for the Camdenton School board because I feel I can provide a level of leadership that will serve the patrons of the district well. In my position with the Camden County Sheriff's Office I have wrote and been awarded grants and have been the administrator on those grants giving me a working knowledge of grant application and execution of grants.
    My philosophy of leadership is mission first, people always. The job of any school board member is to make his highest priority the education of the children in the district. I will as a school board member will make certain our school employees are compensated fairly, disciplined fairly, and most importantly respected by leadership. I will not be afraid to ask the hard questions of the board, administration and myself. I will make certain I serve all the patrons of the community after as the community is part and parcel of our school district. I will make certain our children have a safe place to learn and our parents feel safe sending their children to our school. I will not allow my judgment to be based on politics and assure you they will be based on what is best for the school and the community and noting more. I will monitor the district spending to make certain the district is following best practices and using out of the box thinking when it comes to how we spend taxpayers' dollars. As your elected board member I will always have time to listen to your concerns and will strive to find the best solutions.
    Tom Williams
    Bio:
    Bank of America, 1994 - 2000
    •AVP - Retail Recruitment - Midwest, Retail Management Trainee, Consumer Banker, Recruiter, HR Generalist
    Lake Regional Health System, 2000 - Current
    •Director of Human Resources, Recruiter
    Camdenton H.S. - 1989
    University of MO, BSBA - 1994
    Volunteer Experience:
    Camdenton R-III School District
    •Educator of the Year Selection Committee 2010 & 2011
    •Random Drug Screen Committee Member
    •Lake Career & Technical Center
    Student Services Advisory Committee 2011 - Current
    Camdenton Area Chamber of Commerce, 2009 - 2012
    •Board President, Board Vice President, Board Member
    Page 5 of 5 - The Church at Osage Hills, 2000 - Current
    •Awana Youth Ministry Commander and leader, Middle school youth leader, high school youth leader, Bi-laws committee member, Jamaica Mission Trip Youth Leader
    Sharing and Caring Foundation 2006 - 2008
    •Board Member
    Lake of the Ozarks Air Show Committee
    •Member, 2012 - Current
    How many children you currently have attending school in Camdenton or
    have had graduate from Camdenton.
    I have three Children who currently attend Camdenton. Abi - Senior, Carter - Freshmen, Hadley - 8th Grade
    My wife and I are both Camdenton graduates. Sherrie, is a RN at Lake Regional Health System and is also a Clinical RN Instructor for Columbia College.
    What other offices/seats you have held.
    I have held no other public office and my Bio above includes community service a positions held, including any officer type levels.
    Why am I running?
    I am running for the Camdenton R-III School Board because I believe that every decision within the district should begin with the question, "Does this benefit student learning?" It is essential that we put the students before all things. I believe this 'laser' type focus on student learning leaves no room for individual agendas and should provide the basis for building strong partnerships in our district. I am committed to bringing positive leadership to the Board and I believe that my work experience and community involvement will be beneficial to the Board and those the Board serve. I am proud to say that I am a graduate of Camdenton High School and I consider myself blessed to be able to raise my three children in this community and in the Camdenton R-III school district. Everyone is invited to my website, tom4schoolboard.com for more information on my candidacy.
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