Newcomer candidate for Blair Oaks School Board Luke Fitzpatrick said his top priorities are district growth, restoration of trust in the board and transparency, and a focus on academic excellence and extracurricular growth.
One incumbent and four challengers have filed for three three-year positions on the board.
Fitzpatrick has eight years experience in law enforcement and 14 years in the propane and petroleum industry. He has served as mayor of Holts Summit for two terms and is the current president of the Missouri Propane Gas Association. He has also served as past chairman of the Missouri Propane Education Research Council, board member for the Missouri Institute of Cooperatives and chairman of the Mid-Missouri Tigers Hockey Club.
His wife, Tiffany, is a teacher in the district, and they have two teenagers at Blair Oaks. They have lived in Wardsville for about 7 1/2 years, and before that, they lived in Holts Summit.
"Our community is continuing to grow at a rapid pace, which means it is important to ensure the district is well-staffed to meet the needs of the growing class sizes and that the buildings are proportional to that growth," he said.
He also said he would be available for discussions to address community concerns as a board member, while also seeking to be open and transparent.
He said he wants to continue and increase staff training to maximize academic achievement and add to extracurricular activities.
"It is important that we continue to expand and offer programs and activities that meet the need of all students through extracurricular activities such as fine arts, practical arts and sports," he said.
Fitzpatrick said he's a qualified candidate because of his service as Holts Summit mayor and on many boards. Fitzpatrick demonstrated his openness with the public during that time, he said.
"Throughout these opportunities to serve the public, I have gained knowledge of how the flow of meetings should operate, and I am versed in Robert's Rules of Order," he said. "I have also been involved in creating budgets of up to $15 million, as well as, directly/indirectly supervising as many as 110 employees. Throughout my professional career, whether it be the supervision of employees or the budgeting process, I believe that I am a strong candidate that can lead the Blair Oaks R-2 School District into the future."
Robert's Rules of Order is a standard for parliamentary procedure used in group decision-making.
"My goal is to ensure we are doing what's best for kids while supporting the staff, district, and community, all the while being open and transparent," Fitzpatrick said.