Candidate questionnaire: George Below

Monday, March 28, 2011

NAME: George Below

AGE: 47

PLACE OF BIRTH: Cape Girardeau

SPOUSE, CHILDREN'S NAMES: I am married to Deborah Below and our son, Ryan Below, is a freshmen at Oak Ridge High School.

OCCUPATION: Heavy equipment instructor

EMPLOYER: Mingo Job Corp in Puxico, Mo.

BUSINESS OWNED, ALL OR PART: We own a small family farm

PREVIOUS OFFICES HELD OR SOUGHT: None

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE FACING THE OAK RIDGE SCHOOL BOARD?:

The Oak Ridge R-6 school district, like most districts across Missouri, is challenged by the state's financial outlook. Future planning will involve difficult resource allocation decisions. The Oak Ridge school board, the administration and the teachers have managed the district's resources very well. As a result, Oak Ridge continues to be known for offering students a quality education with significant personal attention from the teachers and the school staff.

Community members and families with children attending Oak Ridge R-VI schools are dedicated to advancing the reputation of the district. There is widespread support for extracurricular activities including the well-established music program, academic clubs and organizations, and athletics. Time and time again, the community has come together to improve the school in so many ways. I look forward to working with the board to continue to reach out to the community and involve them in the school to overcome any financial challenges we might face.

WHAT IN YOUR BACKGROUND OR EDUCATION MAKES YOU QUALIFIED FOR THIS OFFICE?:

As an instructor with the Federal Job Corp program I am responsible for preparing and delivering lesson plans, program admissions, student evaluations, budgeting, and responding to parent inquiries regarding student progress. In addition to teaching a trade, the program offers life skills training.

I have spent a lifetime in and around public schools. My mother was one of the first women to serve as a high school principal in Southeast Missouri. Several other members of our family have served public school districts as teachers, counselors, administrators, and board members. Our family supports the mission and vision of the public school system.

I have supported the Oak Ridge R-VI School District by coaching several youth sport teams and attending numerous fundraising activities.

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