candidates seek two open spots at R-3
Three new faces are embarking on the race
for Platte County R-3 School Board, along with two familiar
Incumbents Dick Modin and Karen Wagoner
will be on the ballot, and three challengers are also
seeking the two open seats. The challengers are Dave Edwards,
Gregory Henson and Bob Williams.
Dave Edwards, 39, is one of those challengers that will
compete to fill one of
the available seats in the upcoming spring election.
I have three kids in the school
district and decided this was a good time to get involved,
I want to make sure we continue
to have a good school and I want to continue to shape
the community. I feel the best way to do that is become
Since moving to Platte City three years
ago, Edwards and his wife, Julie, have become actively
involved in the community as volunteer coaches.
I felt like since we have been involved
in the sports side of the community, I felt it was important
to get involved on the education side as well.
If Edwards is chosen to represent the
school district, one of his goals is to help prepare the
district for continued growth.
I know we have seen plenty of growth
over the last few years and I want to help them continue
to prepare for that growth in the future, said Edwards.
As the issue of growth is inevitable for
the R-3 district, Edwards stated there are other issues
that need the districts attention.
I would also like to see the district
continue to develop programs that involve parents in their
childrens education, stated Edwards.
As the district continues to grow,
I think its important to expand the curriculum we
offer. I think we should strive to make R-3 a district
that is a model for other districts to emulate.
Edwards received an undergraduate in economics
from the University of Iowa in 1989 and an MBA from DePaul
University in Chicago in 1997.
The Edwards family lives in unincorporated
Platte County. He and is wife have three children, Kaly,
Makenzie and Evan.
For Edwards, the opportunity to serve
on the school board is a way to give back to the community
he has come to call home.
Im running for school board
because I think its an important part of contributing
to the community, stated Edwards.
Gregory Henson, 47, would like to see
the district curtail some expenditures while achieving
the goal of making education the top priority at R-3.
I want to make education the top
goal of the district and Im not sure if we have
that right now, said Henson.
Personally I think books are more
important than fancy. The new school to me is a little
much. Its nice, but Ive heard were sharing
books in some of the classes and if thats true,
we should have been buying books.
While Henson acknowledges that the new
middle school is needed, he thinks the district could
have chosen to scale back on its latest construction project
if it wanted or needed to.
With 22 years of construction experience,
I think I can help the board with future building plans
and maybe curtail what I deem expensive stuff, stated
Henson. I dont believe all these looks and
fancy are indicative of a good district.
Henson also stated that the money spent
on cosmetics in the district could have been
used to improve teachers' salaries.
I would like to help them (teachers)
in that aspect, said Henson.
Henson and his wife, Rhonda, have one
child, Jesse. He has resided in the Platte County area
for 27 years, where he retired from general construction
labors Local 1290.
Im a regular blue collar guy
thats trying to look out for the kids, said
Im a truthful individual that
will speak my mind and not bow down to pressure. I will
make myself available to parents, taxpayers and try and
help solve problems or concerns.
According to Henson, he wants voters to
know that his run for school board is not politically
motivated," but instead inspired by the kids of the
We need someone with no other agendas
but just the kids. We need someone to be there for the
kids and thats something I feel like were
lacking at this time.
Incumbent Dick Modin feels its important
for him to continue his service because of the training
he has received while sitting on the school board.
Ive had a whole bunch of training
and experience and I thought it would be worthwhile to
the district for me to continue to use the training Ive
received, stated Modin.
If elected to another term, Modin wants
to make sure the district stays ahead of the growth
In order to ensure that, Modin stated
the district must have the facilities and staff to accommodate
I also have a partial interest in
trying to get more parent involvement with the students'
achievement, stated Modin. Were pretty
successful at the elementary level but it drops off pretty
significantly at the middle school and high school levels.
According to Modin, the district sees
nearly 100% parental involvement rate at the districts
By the time we get to the 6-8 level,
that number drops off significantly and gets to about
20% and thats about all you have the rest of the
Modin said that lack of parental involvement is a nationwide
I think thats one of the reasons
you have so many underachievers is because the parents
dont keep that involvement and excitement through
their childs entire educational experience,
Modin, 55, and his wife, Jeanne, have
three children, Becky, Andy and Lindsey. Modin has resided
in Platte County for more than 50 years.
He received a bachelor's degree in political
science from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in
1977 and a law degree from UMKC in 1979. Modin currently
has his own law practice in Kansas City.
According to Modin, he feels its
beneficial to the R-3 district to hold onto veteran board
This whole education stuff has gotten
so complicated, it takes a board member a lot of years
to get up to speed on all the various issues we have to
be concerned with. I think its at the districts
advantage to hold on to those board members, stated
Incumbent Karen Wagoner, 44, also feels
her experience on the board over the last few years makes
her a qualified candidate for Aprils election.
I am seeking another term on the
Platte County R-3 Board of Education for a simple reason-continuity,
I believe in the students at R-3
and want to provide the best possible education and extra
curricular activities we can provide as a district.
If elected, Wagoner said she has three
specific goals in mind.
First is to raise ACT scores and better
prepare students for college.
Plans are currently being implemented
to address this issue, stated Wagoner.
Some of those plans include the implementation
of AP classes for juniors and seniors, the expansion of
dual credit courses, as well as AP challenge classes for
Implementation of this system is
designed to encourage students to take challenge, AP and
dual credit courses to prepare for college.
Wagoners second goal is the construction
of two elementary schools.
The board of education has begun
planning for the impending need for instructional space
at the elementary level, stated Wagoner.
Finally, Wagoner wants to see the district
continue the improvement of its website and overall districtwide
Great strides have been made in
this area, but much remains to be done, said Wagoner.
To facilitate parental involvement in a students
education, communication between educator and parent is
The use of electronic communications
has facilitated improvements in this area in many grade
levels. Continued expansion of the districts website
to include a parents ability to access their students
grades would further aid communication between parent
and teacher throughout the district.
Wagoner and her husband, Roger, reside
in Platte City with their two children, Megan and Emily.
She currently serves as the executive director of the
Platte City Chamber of Commerce & EDC.
In 1983, Wagoner graduated from John Brown
University with a bachelor's degree in business administration.
I am an advocate of quality education
for all students. I consider it a privilege to serve the
patrons in the Platte County R-3 School District,
Challenger Bob Williams thinks there may
be room for improvement in the educational realm at R-3.
All Im seeking is the betterment
of the school district itself. As with anything, theres
always room for improvement, said Williams.
If I could increase the educational
opportunity for students I would deem that a privilege
and an opportunity to serve the school district. Im
just looking to make a direct impact.
Williams, 46, said he decided to run in
the April election because of his children.
I have got a vested interest in
the school district. I live here and have two children.
I thought I would take a shot at helping out and getting
involved in my childrens education, stated
If elected, Williams top priority
is the students.
Students are first. Ultimately what
youre there for is the children, he said.
I want to better the actual educational
experience of the students in the district by getting
more and better teachers, more supplies, books. We need
to make sure they have every tool we can possibly get
them. Whatever it takes, we should do that.
With the student body as Williams
top priority, he said its essential to make sure
with the projected growth rate that the students dont
get left behind.
Its going to expand, thats
a given. Its going to grow astronomically in the
next 10 years and I want to make sure the students have
what they need to take them onto the next higher level,
Williams is a graduate of Missouri Western
State College (now University) with a bachelor's degree
in business administration. He currently works as a registered
veterinary technician with the Gladstone Animal Clinic.
Williams and his wife, Robin Lusso, reside
in Platte City with their two children, Baron and Sarah.
He has been a resident of Platte County for the last 20
If chosen to represent the district, Williams
stated he is also looking to improve the communication
between the school and the parents.
This school itself is a business
and its business is to educate children, stated
Williams. At some points, I feel they are lacking
at that. You need to be able to be involved in your childs
education and if you cant get answers offhand, where
are you to go?
I feel I can offer a different perspective
and different ideas (to the district), stated Williams.