JOPLIN, Mo. —
The Joplin Board of Education appointed Dawn Sticklen, a freelance writer and co-owner of Sticklen and Crosthwait Law Firm, to fill a board vacancy after the panel finished interviewing candidates in a special meeting Wednesday night.
“I’m humbled, honored, excited and ready to get to work,” Sticklen said in an interview after the appointment.
Board President Randy Steele said Sticklen’s involvement in the Vote Hope campaign, which urged people to vote in favor of the $62 million school bond issue in April, was a big factor in the decision.
“I’m pleased it was a 6-0 vote, and that’s a vote of confidence for any new board member,” Steele said. “By doing that, it’s showing the new person that everyone’s in favor and it’s not a split vote. Vote Hope was a huge positive. We already knew about things taking place, but she (Sticklen) was out in the forefront more than we as board members were at the time. Very positive about the district and excited to pass a bond issue and involved in schools, so that was a huge plus for us.”
Board member Ashley Micklethwaite resigned last month after accepting a position with Sisters of Mercy Health System that will require her to move to St. Louis. Sticklen will serve the remainder of Micklethwaite’s term through April 2013. She said she would seek election to a full term next April.
Three other people applied for the position: Steve Drewes, general manager at Downstream Casino Resort; Anne Wells, a Joplin attorney; and Joan Phillips, past president of the Joplin High School band booster club.
The board’s discussion after the interviews lasted about five minutes.
“The one that rose to the top, for me personally, you can agree or disagree, was Dawn,” said member Anne Sharp during the discussion. “She stepped in and helped us with the bond issue, she had kids in the district, and you could see the passion in her voice.”
“I want to thank all four of them,” said Jeff Flowers, board vice president. “I think all four of them were pretty strong candidates.”
Phillips and Sticklen were interviewed by the board at Wednesday’s meeting. Drewes and Wells were interviewed last week. All four of the applicants received questions from the board in advance.
THE JOPLIN SCHOOL BOARD will officially seat Dawn Sticklen at its next regular meeting, which is set for Tuesday at the administration building, 3901 E. 32nd St.