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Candidates for 4 local school boards run unopposed

Candidates for 4 local school boards run unopposed

January 22nd, 2018 by Allen Fennewald in Local News

Four Mid-Missouri school districts already know who will represent them on their boards of education following the April election.

Candidates for the Cole County R-1 (Russellville), Eldon R-1, South Callaway R-2 and New Bloomfield R-3 school boards are running for open unopposed seats.

Cole County R-1 (Russellville) School District

Since one Cole County R-1 Board of Education member has decided to leave her position and only one new candidate entered the race, there will be no need for a public election.

Board President Debbie Malzner will leave the board after this term, and Collin Steenbergen has filed to fill the position. Incumbent board member and farmer Jerry Schulte also entered his intent to remain on the board.

Superintendent Perry Gorrell said Malzner's experience will be tremendously missed.

Malzner is the finance officer for the Cole County Commission, which Gorrell said offered her valuable expertise in budgeting and other business issues the board faced.

"We thank her tremendously for the things that she has brought to our district, her points of view and making sure we strive fore excellence," Gorrell said.

Steenbergen is a Russellville alumnus with children in the elementary school who works as the marketing director and orthotist and Mid-MO O & P, a prosthetics and orthotics company. Gorrell said Steenbergen's father was a school board member as well.

"Collin is energetic," Gorrell said. "He believes in the Russellville School District and believes in the things that we do. He was instrumental in aiding in raising money for the football (team), but that's not his only reason for running for the board. He just wants to provide his expertise and be a part of the community."

The election was scheduled for April 3, but now the board could be finalized sooner. Steenbergen will participate in his first school board meeting April 19.

Gorrell said the district will have a young and progressive board.

Eldon R-1

The Eldon R-1 Board of Education will say goodbye to two members and welcome a couple of new ones.

Duane Kliethermes and Jerome Atteberry have decided to give up their positions, which will be filled by newcomers Daniel Currence and Christi Miller, the only candidates to file in this year's election.

Kliethermes, who works for the Missouri Department of Transportation, and Atteberry, of Capitol Monuments, joined the board nine years, or three terms ago. Superintendent Matt Davis said they have decided to depart now that their children are out of school.

"We have just been really happy with them and their service — not only our school and community, but also our kids," Davis said.

Currence is the director of engineering at Plastics Pipe Institute and an Eldon High School graduate with a daughter in fourth grade. Miller works for the Missouri Department of Agriculture and has a freshman daughter and sixth-grade son.

"We are glad to get both of them back to the Eldon area and have them serving on our school board," Davis said.

The new board members will be sworn in at the April 16 meeting. Davis said he thinks the new members will fit in well on the board and looks forward to working with them.

South Callaway R-2

With two seats available, South Callaway R-2 school board candidates include Micah Benningfield, who is completing his first three-year term and has filed for re-election, and Brent Wood, who formerly served four consecutive three-year terms on the board and is running again.

Dawn Bailey, currently serving his first term, did not file for re-election.

"Since there are two seats open and only two candidates for those seats, there will be no election," said Mary Van Orden, director of curriculum and instruction. "Mr. Benningfield and Mr. Wood are unopposed and will be installed at the April 11, 2018, board meeting."

New Bloomfield R-3

Two candidates filed for the New Bloomfield School District, which had two seats open.

Russ Weyland holds one of the open seats but did not file for re-election.

Current school board President Terri Sweeten filed to run again, and Amy Reeder-Pendleton also filed as a candidate.

Fulton Sun Editor Jenny Gray contributed information to this article.