School board members have unfinished business

Friday, December 24, 2004

After a week and a half of filing, the list of candidates in the 2005 races for local school boards is full of familiar faces.

In Cape Girardeau, three incumbents and two candidates who ran for the board in 2004 have filed. Jackson's three incumbents have filed as well. Information from other Southeast Missouri districts was not available Thursday.

Filing at all local school board offices has temporarily closed for the holidays. In most offices, it will reopen Jan. 3 and runs through Jan. 18.

Creighton Gould and Debra Mitchell Braxton joined incumbents Dr. Steve Trautwein, Sharon Mueller and Charlie Haubold this week in Cape Girardeau's race. Both Gould and Braxton were candidates last April.

In Jackson, Terri Tomlin, T. Wayne Lewis and Mack Illers filed for re-election.

"I'm not just running to be on the board, I hope I'm serving a purpose," said Lewis, who has served on the Jackson School Board for 18 years. "I've been on a lot of boards, but this is the one I've most enjoyed."

Ongoing issues

Incumbents in both Cape Girardeau and Jackson said their main reason for running again was ongoing issues within their districts. In Jackson, it's a bond issue for renovating and expanding Jackson High School that failed when put before voters last November.

The board may now consider putting it on a ballot again in 2005.

"I didn't want to abandon that," Lewis said. "We've been working on it for many years."

In Cape Girardeau, a change of superintendents has current board members interested in returning for another three years.

"We're making changes in our leadership. There's a transition and I have a good idea of the direction the board wants to go," said Sharon Mueller, who is now serving her second term on the board. "We've created a team and until we make this transition and move forward we're not going to see positive change."

Cape Girardeau has three terms of three years each open and a special term of one year available. Jackson and most of districts in Missouri have three terms of three years each open.

cclark@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 128

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