By Roger McKinney
NEOSHO, Mo. —
Poverty and homelessness among students, space concerns in schools and a new superintendent are some of the issues addressed by the four candidates for the Neosho Board of Education on April 2.
Jonathan Russell, David Pevahouse, William Weber and incumbent Mike Stauffer are vying for two positions in the election. Incumbent board member Chris Parks didn’t seek re-election.
• Russell, 33, rural Neosho, works in sales for a construction company. He has a bachelor’s degree from Missouri Southern State University. He has lived in Neosho most of his life. This is his first campaign.
Russell said he feels strongly about representing the people who live in the district rather than just the school district.
“As the first chairman of Bright Futures Neosho, I started seeing a lot of needs and a lot of poverty in the community,” Russell said of his main issue. “As a school board member, I want to make sure all students are prepared to go further — to technical school or to a four-year college.”
• Pevahouse, 38, Neosho, is a warehouse manager for Branco Enterprises. He has an associate degree from Crowder College, Neosho. He has lived in the district since 1992. This is his first try for a public, elected office.
Pevahouse said he wants to try to make a difference in any way he can.
“The major issue with Neosho is that the schools need some updates,” Pevahouse said, referring to the crowding in the schools. He said working in construction, he is aware of the situation.
• Weber, 39, Neosho, is an attorney with an office in Pineville. His law degree is from Oklahoma City School of Law. He has lived in the school district since 2007. This is his first campaign.
He said he has become aware of homelessness among the families of Neosho schoolchildren.
“There’s a huge homelessness issue,” Weber said. If elected, he said, he would work to ensure that every child, regardless of circumstance or background, stays in school and receives a good education.
“I want to be on the school board to make sure every child gets the education they deserve to lead a constructive adult life,” he said.
• Stauffer, 42, rural Neosho, works in sales. He graduated from high school in Hinton, Iowa. He has lived in the school district since 1996. He is finishing his first, three-year term on the school board.
He said the space situation in the schools is one he is trying to address on the board.
“Our school are overcrowded, and we’re in the process of finding short- and long-term solutions,” he said.
Stauffer said he is excited about having chosen Aurora Superintendent Dan Decker to be the Neosho superintendent beginning in July. He said he wants to be held accountable for the choice.
Incumbent Neosho City Council members Steve Hart and Tom Workman are unopposed in the April 2 election.