Two incumbents and a challenger are seeking two three-year terms on the Russellville Board of Education in the April 2 municipal election.
Challenger Elaine Buschjost is facing incumbents Shawn Ehrhardt and James Case.
Case, who is completing his first three-year term, said he is seeking re-election to continue the schools' forward motion.
Raised in the Jefferson City area, he attended Jefferson City High School and moved to Russellville in 2009.
"We have a great school, and I want to be a part of the team to keep it going forward," he said.
Being on the board allows him to know what's happening where his children attend school. His oldest child graduated from Russellville High School in December; his youngest is a freshman.
Case said he had no former experience serving on a board, but has learned a lot so far. He added the current board members work well together.
"This was a new adventure for me, and I have learned a lot," Case said. "I had no idea how a school board actually worked. I can understand it now; I understand what everybody's role actually is."
He owns a cattle farm and Case Excavating business on Route AA.
If re-elected, he said, he will continue to work with the board on keeping good teachers and students coming to the school.
"I think we have a great board so I'd like to keep it the same," Case said.
Ehrhardt, who is currently board president, has been on the board for six years and is seeking a third term.
A Jefferson City High School graduate, Ehrhardt owns Ehrhardt Financial in Jefferson City and said his years of work as a financial adviser are a benefit for the school district.
"Being able to look at budget numbers and be a good steward with taxpayers' money is a benefit," he said.
He and his wife have two children in the district in first and eighth grades. He said his investment in youth is another reason he is seeking re-election; he also coaches youth sports in the area.
"It's an experience now being on the board for six years," Ehrhardt said. "I feel I've done a good job."
Ehrhardt has previous board experience from a nonprofit insurance board. When he joined the board in 2013, he was appointed board secretary.
"I think Russellville has done a lot of great things the last several years. I just want to see some of those things through," he said.
Buschjost, who moved back to Russellville six years ago, said she is running for school board to continue her advocacy for children and teachers and to give back to the community.
"Education is so important to me," she said. "It's what I've made my entire career out of."
Buschjost retired from the Cole County R-1 district in 2015 as a principal. She is currently a member of the National Assessment of Educational Progress for the U.S. Department of Education. In 2017, she was appointed to the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Board by then-Gov. Eric Greitens.
She graduated from Russellville High School and currently has two grandchildren in the district.
If elected, she said, she hopes she can bring her experiences to the board and do what's best for students.
"This is just another way for us to support the school," Buschjost said.
She said the people in the community are more than just people to her.
"They're my neighbors and they're my friends — they're lifelong friends, so their kids are very important to me," she said.
She is the parish council president at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Russellville and owns two farms with her husband, Paul.