Lindbergh voters to elect two to Board of Education

Four candidates are seeking two seats in April 7 election

Andrea Gannon

Andrea Gannon

By Mike Anthony

Second of a two-part school board questionnaire. Click

for the first in the series, profiling incumbent candidates Kate Holloway and Karen Schuster.

Two seats up for election April 7 on the Lindbergh Board of Education are being sought by four candidates, including two incumbents.

Seats held by board member Kate Holloway and board Secretary Karen Schuster are up for election.

Besides Holloway and Schuster, Andrea Gannon and Daniel Sampson are vying for the seats, which carry three-year terms.

This article will feature Gannon and Sampson. Holloway and Schuster were profiled last week.

Asked to identify the most important issue in the race, Sampson said, “Prop G — Growth. This is a ‘hot’ topic specifically due to the bond needed to build and update our schools for children coming into our district.”

Gannon did not respond to the question.

Gannon, 44, 521 Oakwood Drive, 63026, is director of alternative programs at Belleville Township High School District 201. She and her husband, David, have a child who attends Lindbergh High School.

Gannon, who has not held elective office, said she is seeking election because “it would be an honor to be elected to serve the community and school district that provided myself and family with a quality education.”

Sampson, 32, 4636 Bridlewood Terrace, 63128, is the enterprise permit system manager for St. Louis County. He and his wife, Dawn, have two young children.

Sampson, who ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Lindbergh school board last year, said he is seeking election because “we are entering a time where the influx of families into our district is going to cause growing pains and we need to be financially smart, while also providing support to our teachers and administrators who will need to handle this growth directly. We need to ensure our board has one voice, which I do not always feel happens currently.”

Gannon said, “Yes.”

Sampson said, “I voted yes, and still stand by that today.”

Gannon said, “Yes.”

Sampson said, “My family and I were not residents of Missouri at the time of that vote. If we were, I would have supported it.”

Gannon said, “The Board of Education should have one designated person speak to the media.

“That should either be the board president or superintendent, Dr. (Jim) Simpson.”

Sampson said, “The board, although consisting of seven individuals, in the end should be one voice. Once a decision has been reached no matter what the vote tally, the board president should be able to explain the board’s position without further questions of other members.”

Gannon said, “Yes.”

Sampson said, “Yes. Dr. Simpson’s effort as our superintendent has not gone unnoticed. Lindbergh is a top-rated district for a reason and reflects directly from Dr. Simpson’s guidance.”

Gannon said, “To continue to seek excellent educators and offer a rigorous and challenging curriculum that will prepare our students for the 21st century.”

Sampson said, “A number of things. First, we may be No. 1 overall, but we are No. 1 in each category. We should strive to reach No. 1 in all areas of the students’ academic development. Secondly, you continue with what is working and tweak items to enhance the education our teachers provide the students. Class size is also critical. We cannot allow the growth to overwhelm our class sizes if we expect our teachers to be able to provide the same attention and level of detail to all students.”

Gannon did not respond to the question.

Sampson said, “Non-essential operations first, analysis of the current budget, (then) establish cuts without affecting the classrooms.”

Gannon did not respond to the question.

Sampson said, “Fifteen (percent) to 20 percent of the yearly budget — enough to run all district activities from July through December without borrowing.”

Gannon did not respond to the question.

Sampson said, “Yes, those issues are handled by the Superindentent Dr. Jim Simpson and should continue to operate as such.”

Gannon said, “Yes.”

Sampson said, “Yes. Continue the methods already established such as open meetings to the public and advertising these events.”

Gannon said, “I believe it essential that public schools teach sex education in order to provide our students with the knowledge to make appropriate decisions.”

Sampson said, “Yes. Sex education is an important life lesson and should be taught with abstinence in mind. We need our teachers to be honest and respond to students’ questions with factual information.”

Gannon did not respond to the question.

Sampson said, “Yes, as long as it provides information to students helping them understand those lifestyles and the issues related to them.

“Promotional material should not be included.”

Gannon said, “Yes.”

Sampson said, “Yes, a teacher’s evaluation should determine if that teacher is succeeding in educating students in the classroom.”

Gannon said, “Neutral.”

Sampson said, “Does not apply as this is a nonpartisan office.”

Gannon said, “If every decision focuses on what’s best for our students, politics should not come into play.”

Sampson said, “Open communication is key, understanding the issues and policies that require the Board’s attention. Keeping the focus of all decisions for what is best for the students is a priority.”

Gannon did not respond to the question.

Sampson said, “I believe they need to be required to keep the same standards as public schools.”

Gannon did not respond to the question.

Sampson said, “I am not in favor. This program would take funding away from public schools that would normally be part of the operating budget.”

Gannon did not respond to the question.

Sampson said, “Short term, growth in the elementary schools. Long term, funding for another elementary and eventually a replacement high school.”

Gannon did not respond to the question.

Sampson said, “No, students and teachers need a break so they do not become ‘burned out.’ Extending the school year would also require additional funding to keep the district operating, which, in turn, would lead to higher taxes to cover the budget.”

Gannon did not respond to the question.

Sampson said, “Money to be withdrawn from savings followed by cut backs of non-essential operations, and if still necessary, increased taxes so interruption within the classrooms is avoided at all costs.”

Gannon did not respond to the question.

Sampson said, “Yes, the district has planned and upgraded schools with protective measures to ensure safety of every student and teacher. These measures included door locking from inside classrooms.

“Continuous awareness is always necessary to continue to assist future protection measures are in place.”

Gannon did not respond to the question.

Sampson said, “Possibly more awareness to the decisions that led to votes for or against an item the residents are split on.”