South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Four seeking two seats on Lindbergh school board

Second of two parts
Bill Klostermann
Bill Klostermann

Four candidates are seeking two seats on the Lindbergh Board of Education in the April 4 election.

Current Vice President Kenneth Fey, Janine Fabick, Bill Klostermann and Rebecca Soeder are seeking election to the board.

Barry Cooper did not file for election. He was appointed to the board last spring after Drew Walk resigned. Cooper previously had served two three-year terms.

This article will focus on Klostermann and Soeder; Fabick and Fey were featured last week.

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

• “The best person for the job to get and keep quality teachers and staff, etc.,” Klostermann stated.

• “Achieving Distinction in Performance for the sixth year in a row. Student achievement is always the top priority for a school district and with increasing NCLB (No Child Left Behind) standards, the stakes are higher each year,” Soeder stated.

Klostermann, 65, 10712 Wrenfield Drive, Apt. B, 63123, is the owner of Environmental Equipment Specialists. His adult children attended Lindbergh schools, a grandson graduated from Lindbergh High School last year and three grandsons attend Lindbergh schools.

Klostermann, who is making his first bid for elective office, said he is seeking a seat on the school board to use his age and experience to help maintain and increase the quality of education at the least cost to taxpayers.

Another issue identified by Klostermann is to “treat everyone fairly and equally.”

Soeder, 30, 9624 Antigo Drive, 63123, is an attorney with the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court. She and her husband, Jack, have a son who attends a Lindbergh school.

Soeder, who is making her first bid for elective office, said she is seeking a seat on the school board because “I’m interested in ensuring a world-class education for the children of this district and believe my talents and experience are ideal for the board.”

Another issue identified by Soeder is Prop-R Next, which “will be an integral issue for the board in the next year as there are many capital-improvement projects that will require no-tax-increase bond financing if they are to happen. I support the efforts of the District Oversight Committee in this endeavor.”

The candidates gave the following re-sponses to a Call questionnaire:

Are you supportive of the work of the District Oversight Committee? Would you support placing a no-tax-rate-increase bond issue before voters at some point?

Klostermann said, “Yes, probably depending on all issues.”

Soeder said, “Yes.”

Do you believe the Lindbergh Board of Education has faithfully adhered to the letter of the Missouri Open Meetings and Records Law, also called the Sunshine Law? What would you do as a board member to ensure the board’s compliance with this law?

Klostermann said, “To the best of my knowledge. They adhere to all laws that are good. Be the best board member possible.”

Soeder said, “Yes. All meetings that are required to be open are publicized and the public is welcome to attend.”

How much of a fund balance should the school district keep in its reserves each year?

Klostermann said, “Not now a board member — cannot fairly answer.”

Soeder said, “The board has a duty to the taxpayers to be fiscally responsible, meaning the district shouldn’t tax more than it needs. That said, it is necessary for fiscal management to keep some reserves.”

What do you think the Board of Education should do to improve academic achievement?

Klostermann said, “Always look for best teachers, administration, staff and new equipment and teaching equipment and methods, keeping in mind that ‘new is not always better.”’

Soeder said, “As the No Child Left Behind standards increase each year, the district must do more to achieve Distinction in Performance. In the coming years, the district should add reading and math specialists and intervention programs to assist in MAP (Missouri Assessment Program) preparations. Additionally, teachers should receive continuing training in promoting lifelong learning in their students.”

Do you believe Superintendent Jim Sandfort and his administration are doing a good job?

Klostermann said, “Yes, without reservation.”

Soeder said, “Yes.”

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

Klostermann said, “No comment without study and investigation.”

Soeder said, “Always cut from the outside in — saving academics above all else. Trim the ‘fat’ where possible.”

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