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The Lake News Online
  • Meet the Versailles school board candidates

  • When voters head to the polls April 2, they will vote for two open seats on the Morgan County R-II school board. Meet the candidates vying for the positions.
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  • When voters head to the polls April 2, they will vote for two open seats on the  Morgan County R-II school board. Meet the candidates vying for the positions.
     
    Trent Edgar
    Education: I am a 1995 Graduate of Morgan County R-II
    Profession: I am employed by Sysco Foods of Kansas City as a delivery driver.
    Community Involvement: I am a member of the First Assembly of God church in Versailles, where I was a board member from 2005-2011. My family and I are also involved in the Morgan County Radiant Rascals 4h club and I have coached several different youth sports teams. I am also a life time resident of Versailles.
    How many children do you currently have attending school at MCR2 or have had graduate from MCR2?
    I have three children attending Morgan County R-II; Tessa, an eighth grader; Taralee, a sixth grader and Tye a second grader.
    Why are you running for the school board?
    I am running for the school board position to help ensure that each and every child that attends will be challenged daily and pushed to excel in their academics, sports and any extracurricular activities they choose.
    Why should people vote for you?
    If I am voted to the board, I have no personal goals or agendas. I just want to be a voice for the people and help manage the budget and the resources in the most effective way possible at the same time striving to maintain the status of exceptional quality the Morgan County R-II school district has been known for my entire life. I would greatly appreciate your vote on April 2nd.
    What do you consider the biggest or most critical challenge for the school district?
    I believe the biggest challenge for the school district right now is the decisions they must make with the revenue they have coming in. They will need to maintain a lot of focus and wisdom in their decision making regarding the setting and use of the budget each year.
     
    Shawn Manuel
    Education:  I graduated from Sherwood High School, Silver Spring, MD in 1994 before moving to Tulsa, OK where I studied Finance & Business Management at Oral Roberts University. I currently hold a Series 7 & 66 Securities license, and Life, Health & Long Term Care Insurance Licenses, all which require perpetual continuing education to stay abreast of both economic and regulatory changes in the industry.
    Profession: I am a self-employed Financial Advisor with offices in Columbia, Springfield, and will be adding an office in Lake Ozark in June 2013. My previous experience includes 7 years of corporate bank management, and 12 years of owning my own businesses.  The focus of my practice is risk management, as I am typically working with clients who have already accumulated their nest egg, and are looking to preserve and protect it to last throughout their retirement.
    Page 2 of 4 - Community Involvement: My family and I attend First Assembly of God here in Versailles, where we are active and participate in several community outreach projects each year.  I am currently the co-secretary/treasurer for the First Assembly Church Board, and recently began serving on the board of Habitat for Humanity of Morgan County.  Outside of my profession, I also do free financial counseling/budget planning for families within Morgan County on a case-by-case basis.   
    How many children do you currently have attending school at MCR2 or have had graduate from MCR2?  
    I have four children currently attending MCR2 in the following grades currently:  Third, Fourth, Sixth & Seventh.
    Why are you running for the school board?
    My reasons for running are two-fold: First, our family has not experienced anything less than extreme kindness from our community since moving here seven years ago, but particularly over the last several years, as we walked through some particularly difficult times in the health of our daughter Sophia, resulting ultimately in a heart transplant last June.  The support we received from our community was tremendous, and now that we are standing on the other side of that challenge, I believe it is time to give back to the community that showed such support.  Secondly, I sincerely believe that my background in finance and focus on risk management will be an asset and will complement the strengths of our existing board.
    Why should people vote for you?
    I bring a unique perspective to the table, both from my financial background, and from having attended school elsewhere, while my wife attended school and graduated from MCR2 Schools.  My occupation requires me to be proficient in communicating ideas, problems, and solutions to problems.  I know as a board, we won't always have the solutions that make everyone happy, but know that how information is communicated when we are approached can be key in how that information is received.  My commitment to our district is that every decision I weigh in on, will be based on the question "What is in the best interest of our students?"
    What do you consider the biggest or most critical challenge for the school district?
    Unequivocally it is in the area of finances.  Our district has already experienced significant cuts over the last several years, and are facing more in light of the reduced real estate assessments, and their impact on school revenues.  This is going to impact both retaining and obtaining quality teachers, and could result in discontinuation of programs and activities that you or your child value.  Just like a family who has lost some of their income, we will be forced to take a close look at what is important, and make tough choices as to what expenses we keep, and what we don't.  
    Page 3 of 4 -  
    Melissa Owsley
    Education: I graduated from Morgan County R2 in 1994. Graduated in 1996 from Nichols Career Center with a Certificate in Radiologic Technology.
    Profession: I am a Administrative Assistant at Morgan County Health Center. I have worked for the Health Department for 7 years. I handle all the finances and I am the Safe Kids Central Missouri Coordinator for five counties. I am certified as a CPR/ First Aid Instructor, a Water Fitness Instructor, Lifegaurd, and a Child Passenger Safety Technician.
    Community Involvement: I have been a member of Family Worship Center for 18 years. I am currently the women's group president and help with the youth group. My husband and I were youth pastors for 10 years. I've served on the Morgan County Caring For Kids Coalition Board and the Federal Stimulas Bond Committee as secretary. I am also a Versailles Park Board Member.
    How many children do you currently have attending school at MCR2 or have had graduate from MCR2?
    I have 3 boys. Austin is a sophmore, Brendan is a freshman, and Trenton is in the 6th grade.
    Why are you running for the school board?
    I am seeking election of the school board, not to change the direction of an effective and successful educational program, but to ensure that the district continues its present course.
    Why should people vote for you?
    I have lived in Morgan County my entire life. I grew up in Sunrise Beach so I know what it is like for the south students and parents. I currently live in Versailles. Whether working with youth groups, church groups, or other community groups, I have a long history of performing community-oriented work. I also have a strong interest in the school district, and want to make sure that our children get the best education possible. This is why the school board needs to make sure that the administrators and teachers have the tools they need. I have the utmost respect for our school administration and school board who continually are faced with very difficult decisions that impact our community.
    What do you consider the biggest or most critical challenge for the school district?
    The biggest challenge for the school district is financial. The school is facing a major loss in property taxes because the assesed value of property has decreased. I fear we could lose good teachers because the school can not afford to give the teachers the raises they deserve and/or cut programs that the school offers to our children.
     
    Rich Williams
    Education: Graduated from Morgan County R-2 in 1991, and also attended State Fair Community College.
    Profession:  I'm a Subject Matter Expert at The Gates Corporation.  I have worked there the past 19 years
    Page 4 of 4 - Community Involvement: My children and I attend First Christian Church in Versailles,  I have served as Morgan County Athletic Club's  Vice President for the past 6 years.  I have also served on the Facilities Committee for the Morgan County School District for the past 2 years.  I have also coached 5th and 6th Grade Basketball for 18 years.
    How many children do you currently have attending school at MCR2 or have had graduate from MCR2?
    I have 2 children attending Morgan County R-2, Kyrsten age 8, and Jordan age 10
    Why are you running for the school board?  
    I have served on the school board the past 2 years.  I have children attending Morgan County R-2, so I have some vested interests with their education, growth and safety of the School.
    Why should people vote for you?  
    I'm a lifelong resident that has been involved in the community. I have 2 years of experience, so I know and understand how the Board conducts business.  I understand that I'm not just representing my family, but the children, teachers, staff and the tax payers of the School District.
    What do you consider the biggest or most critical challenge for the school district?
    The most critical challenge for the School District is School Safety!  With what has happened in the U.S. at different schools is terrifying.  Trying to keep our children safe is the most critical challenge.  Another pressing challenge is declining school funding and understanding what and where we need to spend the district money fairly and equitably.  These are challenging decisions for a board because these decisions can affect not only our students and teachers, but also the taxpayers as well.
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