Candidates for the Logan-Rogersville School Board | Swamp Mail

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Below are the current CANDIDATES for the Logan-Rogersville School Board.

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Candidate for the Logan-Rogersville School Board – Julie Gipson

Current occupation : Administrator at the C. Rex Witherspoon Surgery Center

Family: Husband: David Gipson Children: Laney, Brock, Annie, Allie, Kadie & Kanon

Previous elected positions: Two terms (six years) as a member of the LR school board. I am currently completing my second year as Chairman of the Board and have served as Vice Chairman of the Board for the previous two years.

Education: BS in Computer Information Systems from Missouri State and MBA, majoring in Management, from Rockhurst University

Top 3 Problems Facing Logan-Rogersville- Schools

Learning loss as a result of COVID.

Numerous studies have documented learning loss due to being out of school due to COVID, whether due to school closures and/or quarantines, etc. We need to diligently assess our students to find these losses and implement strategies to bring students back to pre-COVID levels. .

Explosive growth possible

The school board commissioned demographic studies in 2015, 2018, with the most recent completed in 2021. Trends show a steady increase over the past three years; However, as a community, we are poised for increased growth that may exceed the capacity of our current buildings within the next ten years.

Superintendent Estate

Our current superintendent, Dr. Shawn Randles, is eligible to retire and is only under contract with LR until June 2023. Our assistant superintendent, Dr. Jennifer Katzin, is in her first year of administration at the district scale. Given these facts, the district will be faced with recruiting a new superintendent within the next year, which is one of the school board’s most important responsibilities.

District strengths/weaknesses-

Strengths

Faculty, staff and administration We have excellent teachers who focus on the students and are diligent with professional development to find best practices. Our administration is student- and teacher-focused while being fiscally responsible. Our support staff are dedicated and often go the extra mile to keep the district running efficiently.

Facilities The district has good facilities and has been able to make improvements over the past few years with the adoption of the bond issue in 2019. The council launched another tax-free bond issue this year to complete the upgrades.

Community relations The school district works with other community entities, including government, the chamber of commerce, charities, and faith-based organizations to meet the needs of our students. We are very lucky to be in a community where everyone works together to make things happen.

Weaknesses

Mathematics education

While American students consistently have lower math scores than their peers in other countries, math fluency is more critical than ever. Basic math skills are necessary for everyone – not just for those who want to pursue a degree in finance, business or economics. LR students are no different from the rest of the country and we must continue to prioritize the importance of math education at all levels.

Online and Virtual Curriculum

Although listed as a weakness, the district is already addressing this issue. Should we face another pandemic, or should the demand for online learning continue to increase, we will have lessons taught by LR teachers, whether in the classroom or virtually. We will no longer be forced to use external providers to offer online courses to our students.

Legislative challenges

Every year, public schools in Missouri are targeted by bills introduced in the state legislature that seek to limit local control of school districts and increase competition for public school funding. Not all K-12 laws are bad; however, bills fueled by special interests and those who want to profit from public education are suspect at best.

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Logan-Rogersville School Board Candidate – Justin Coyan

Current occupation : Personal Lines Insurance / Private Client Advisor (Ollis/ Akers/Arney)

Family: Married for 16 years to Teresa Coyan, 2 children, Connor (8) & Kinley (6)

Previous elected positions: N / A

Education: BS in Business Administration (Missouri State University), Masters in Business Administration (Webster University)

The top 3 issues facing Logan-Rogersville schools:

I wouldn’t call the following three items ‘problems’, but rather areas of discussion that continue to come to the fore when speaking with community members. The first is hHow do we continue to attract qualified teachers and staff, retain the great employees we already have, and provide the necessary support our district employees deserve? Second, oOur community continues to welcome new families, resulting in accelerated growth that other neighboring districts have experienced in the past. This has put pressure on our school buildings and the infrastructure currently in place. While this may be a current issue, if the no-tax bond referendum on the April 5 ballot passes, it will provide funding for continued improvements to accommodate this growth and advancement. Last but not least are the external societal pressures our children face on a daily basis. Whether it’s bullying, depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, social media noise, food insecurity, government overreach, or just burnout during of the past two years, it has impacted what we called a “normal school year”. These external pressures are real and we know that all students in all districts are feeling the effects. I am confident that our school district will continue to work diligently to ensure LR stays strong and prepares to the best of their abilities.

Neighborhood strengths/weaknesses:

When it comes to talking about the strengths of OUR school, Logan-Rogersville, we have so many that it can be difficult, if not unfair, to begin trying to list them. However, if there is one thing I know from growing up and being part of this community, it is that we are proud of our school. LR has a long and solid history of Wildcat pride. I believe that pride is the thread that unites all the forces of our district. From our buildings’ exceptional teachers and staff, to community support for school issues, to our amazing athletic and academic groups, to strong agricultural and arts offerings, and plenty of after-school options for all ages and all interests. When my kids learn the same “We Are LR” chant in kindergarten that has been around for generations and will continue to be for many more, it might be one of the most defining examples of how Logan’s strength -Rogersville is built from the foundation up.

This same pride is what helps our district overcome perceived and real district weaknesses. Weakness in the district as a subject can be personally subjective in which I prefer to look at this in the realm of opportunity. The main opportunity I hear about is not unique to LR, but to the education sector in general. As I said earlier, recruiting and retaining the best teachers and staff members who fit the district can present real challenges. In this regard, I believe LR has been proactive in addressing the urgent needs of the District and continues to keep tabs on proactive efforts. We are LR!

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Logan-Rogersville School Board Candidate – Whitney Williams

Current occupation : Senior Development Officer, CoxHealth Foundation

Family: I have a wonderful husband, David, and three beautiful children. My kindergarten attends Logan-Rogersville and our two youngest will also grow up in the District!

Previous elected positions: N / A

Education: Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Communication, William Woods University

Top 3 issues Logan-Rogersville Schools:

Those would be my areas of focus, rather than issues – per se. Recruitment and retention of teachers, funding and balancing core curriculum and life skills.

In summary, I want to see our teachers rewarded for the incredible work and time they devote to their students; see our new teachers engaged and mentored and focus on culture as much as compensation. Let’s continue to advocate at the state level for increased funding so that we can prepare all of our student population to succeed, and have the means to do so. Finally, supporting our students in critical areas of the curriculum, balanced with core life skills. I believe that learning simple interpersonal skills is just as important as what we learn in the classroom.

Neighborhood strengths/weaknesses:

Logan-Rogersville has many assets and that is why I am so grateful for my time as a student here! Three that specifically come to mind:

1. Support – The school district has an amazing way of supporting their own. Whether it’s athletics, academics, extracurricular activities, or simply encouraging our students in everyday life, Logan-Rogersville has it all!

2. Growth Plans – The school district is ready to grow at the right pace and is making plans to ensure it can handle additional students, and is also ready to provide adequate opportunities for all students. I am so proud of how our school district has grown and adapted over the years as more and more people realize what a wonderful place Rogersville is to live.

3. Academic and Athletic Excellence – Thanks to incredible staff, administrators, and a wonderfully supportive community, we continue to have students who excel in these areas.

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