Four candidates seek to fill two Lindbergh board seats

Four candidates are seeking two seats on Lindbergh board

By Mike Anthony

Four candidates are vying for two seats on the Lindbergh Schools Board of Education in the April 3 election.

James Goss, Kate Holloway, George Rezabek and Karen Schuster are vying for the two seats being vacated by Mark Rudoff and Ken Fey, who did not file for re-election.

Asked to identify the most important issue in the race, the candidates responded:

• “Control spending now so we are not forced to make drastic cuts in the future,” Goss said.

• “Maintaining local and state control for Missouri’s educational system, pursuit of academic excellence,” Holloway said.

• “Maintaining quality education and programs while practicing fiscal stewardship with funding,” Rezabek said.

• “I believe it’s important to elect a board member that understands the financial aspects of running a multi-million dollar business. Lindbergh Schools is facing increased enrollment and rising prices at a time when revenues will not keep pace — even with the recent passage of Prop L. The economic conditions require that the board and administration stay particularly focused on the budget, while maintaining the standard of excellence that is the tradition of Lindbergh Schools,” Schuster said.

Goss, no age given, 11681 Rossmoor Lane, 63128, is semi-retired and formerly was a buyer for a building supply company. He is married to Heidi, and has two children who attend Concord Elementary School.

Goss, who has not held elective office, said he is seeking election because “as a Lindbergh graduate, I am interested in serving on the board to ensure Lindbergh maintains its status as a highly rated school district.”

Holloway, 50, 11043 Rambling Oaks Drive, 63128, works at Doc Holloway’s Auto Repair. She is married to Steve and has four children who have graduated from Lindbergh High and one who currently attends the high school.

Holloway has not held elective office, but said she is seeking election because as “a mother of five — four LHS graduates — I feel strongly about high educational standards and investing in values for a strong community.”

Rezabek, 52, 8 Kahlia Way Court, 63127, is a pediatrician at Mercy Clinic-Fenton. He is married to Cherlyn and has five children, including one in college, two who attend Lindbergh High School, one who attends Truman Middle School and one who attends Concord Elementary School.

Rezabek, who has not held elective office, ran unsuccessfully for the board last year. He said he is seeking election “to continue to promote the excellence in education the Lindbergh district is known for.”

Schuster, no age given, 31 Sappington Acres Drive, is executive director for the St. Louis Society for the Physically Disabled. She is married to David and has a child who attends Lindbergh High School, an eighth-grader at Truman Middle School, a third-grader at Long Elementary School and a 2-year-old.

Schuster has not held elective office, but is seeking election because “as someone who received an excellent education from the Lindbergh School District, I believe it is important for me to give back to the community that helped to shape my life. As a parent of four children who have/will attend Lindbergh Schools, I want to play a direct role in ensuring the tradition of excellence continues.”

The candidates gave the following responses to a Call questionnaire:

• Do you agree with the Board of Education’s stance on collective bargaining — negotiating salary and benefits, but no such school governance issues as class size, teacher assignments and hours of operation?

Goss said, “No opinion.”

Holloway said, “Collective bargaining for public employees exists in our Missouri Constitution, but legislation has not defined what collective bargaining means. See Article I, Section 29 of the Missouri Constitution.”

Rezabek said, “The BOE (Board of Education) has worked with the teachers on resolving issues. An open line of communication between BOE-administration-teachers is needed.”

Schuster said, “I believe the Board of Education has done a tremendous job of working with the LNEA (Lindbergh National Education Association) to establish an agreement that retains and attracts top-notch teachers. It is important the board has the ability to govern over issues such as class size so that students’ educational needs can be balanced with the resources available to the district.”

• What is the biggest challenge facing Lindbergh Schools?

Goss said, “Stagnant or falling assessed property values.”

Holloway said, “Maintaining our excellence in education with finite resources.”

Rezabek said, “Maintaining a quality academic program within a tight fiscal budget.”

Schuster said, “The biggest challenge is increasing enrollment and increasing expenses coupled with revenue sources that cannot keep pace.”

• Are you satisfied with the leadership of Superintendent Jim Simpson?

Goss said, “Yes, Superintendent Simpson and his staff are leading our schools in the right direction.”

Holloway said, “During his time at Lindbergh, he has led our district to many accomplishments.”

Rezabek said, “Dr. Simpson continues to provide steady leadership within budget constraints and financially hard times.”

Schuster said, “I am satisfied with the superintendent’s leadership. However, I believe there is always room for improvement, and Dr. Simpson should continue to strive for greater success.”

• How did you vote on the district’s Proposition L that was on the November 2010 ballot?

Goss said, “I voted yes for Proposition L.”

Holloway said, “I support our schools, but I felt the economy was uncertain, so I voted no on Prop L.”

Rezabek said, “I voted for the proposition.”

Schuster did not respond to the question.

• Do you agree with the board’s decision to purchase the Dressel School building?

Goss said, “Yes, with the projected growth in enrollment, we will definitely need the extra room.”

Holloway said, “Yes. We are experiencing growth in enrollment and space is needed to maintain class sizes.”

Rezabek said, “I believe that the purchase of the Dressel building was a very forward-looking decision.”

Schuster did not respond to the question.

• If cuts are needed to balance the budget, what would you propose?

Goss said, “Any unnecessary spending.”

Holloway said, “I support keeping teachers in the classroom. If cuts need to be made, it should be made in upper and middle administrators.”

Rezabek said, “I would propose a working group of BOE, administration, teachers and community members to make that decision.”

Schuster said, “In order to balance the budget, the Board of Education and the administration should look at both sides of the budget for opportunities to increase revenue without increasing tax rates and to decrease expenses without affecting the classrooms.”

• Would you make any changes in the manner in which the school board currently operates?

Goss said, “No.”

Holloway said, “No.”

Rezabek said, “At this time, no.”

Schuster did not respond to the question.