The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 2, 2013

Six vying for Pittsburg school board

Three seats available

By Andra Bryan Stefanoni

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Six candidates are running in Tuesday’s election for three at-large positions on the Pittsburg School Board, including two incumbents.

• John Clark, 45, is an incumbent. He is a lifelong resident of Pittsburg who graduated from Pittsburg High School and earned an undergraduate degree from Pittsburg State University. He is employed at Midwest Mineral and has two children who graduated from district schools and two currently enrolled.

He has served one full term and part of a term he was appointed to fill when another candidate resigned.

“I’ve been actively involved in the community in several organizations for several years,” he said. “I am very pleased with where the district is headed now, and I would like to continue to assist in that capacity, in continuing to improve student achievement and moving the district forward.”

• Joan Fields, 46, is an incumbent who was elected four years ago. She is a 14-year resident who attended college on the East Coast. She works at Community National Bank and Trust. One of her children is a PHS graduate and one is now enrolled in the system.

“I believe in my previous years I’ve been a positive influence on the district,” she said. “I’ve been very involved with Pittsburg not only in education but also in community service and business since moving here, and it’s always been important to me.”

• Michelle Hucke, 25, is a five-year resident. She earned an undergraduate degree from PSU and is pursuing a graduate degree. She made an unsuccessful bid for the Kansas House last fall, and is now the director of marketing at Sapience Corp.

“In tough economic times and being that we are in one of the poorest counties in the state, our school district certainly faces tough decisions,” she said. “It’s important to be able to make the thoughtful determinations needed with a continued focus on growth in achievement while furthering our proposed vision for the future. Our children need to be able to graduate from our schools with the tools to integrate into the community as productive citizens. We also must ensure our educators are supported.”

• Robert Wood grew up in Pittsburg and attended Pittsburg schools. He and his wife, Robin, own Robin F. Wood, DDS & Associates, in Pittsburg, where he is office manager and technology consultant. He earned an undergraduate degree from PSU and a graduate degree from Ball State University in Indiana.

He said he believes in an emphasis on local control in schools, standards, curriculum and testing. He said he believes the majority of funds need to go to classrooms for teachers to use in direct benefit of students, and that he is against strict one-size fits all nutritional guidelines in a district where more than 60 percent of students are on free and reduced-price lunch, as school meals may be all they have on any given day.

• Chris Curtis and LaVerne Allmon also are running, but the Globe did not receive information from them.


No contests developed for the three positions on the Frontenac School Board that will be on the ballot Tuesday. Incumbents Mike Bitner, Adam Lusker Sr. and Ryan Varselona are unopposed for re-election.