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Four candidates in
race for R-3 board

by Alan McArthur
Landmark reporter

The Platte County R-3 Board of Education will have at least one new member after the April election.
There are two spots up for reelection in the election on Tuesday, April 7 and four candidates on the ballot. Only one of the candidates is an incumbent.
Karen Wagoner is the only incumbent on the ballot, as Dick Modin has chosen not to seek reelection. Also on the ballot are newcomers Alan Williams, Jeana Houlahan, and Bill Kephart.
Wagoner is 47 and is the executive director of the Platte City Chamber of Commerce. She first became a board member in April 2002.
Wagoner said she is seeking reelection to the board because of her experience on the board.
“Past experience with bond issues and building projects is an asset to the district,” said Wagoner. “In the next three years the board will be faced with building a new elementary school and proposed legislation that, if passed, will have a negative impact on school districts.”
Wagoner said that if elected to another term she plans to focus on improving district communication, increasing technology and improving student achievement.
Wagoner said she is the best choice for the board because she has experience to handle issues facing the district such as funding issues.
“A critical issue facing the district is assuring continued growth in school funding,” said Wagoner. She also plans on moving the district to continue lobbying for more state and federal aid.
Another candidate on the ballot is Alan Williams. Williams is 41 and works in the computer information field.
Williams said he chose to run for election to the board because he has three children in the district and wants to be more involved in their education.
Williams said there are four areas he hopes to focus on if elected.
“The first is to help administrators, teachers, and staff work together for the continued excellence of our students,” said Williams. “Second is to help (the district) grow as we meet the needs of our growing population. Third is to be a courteous steward of the financial resources needed to move forward with our growth. And finally I feel it is vital to help unite all parts of our large and diverse district.”
Williams said his experience making a budget in his career will help as a board member as the district deals with financial issues. Williams said he thinks he is the best candidate because he is motivated, a hard worker, team player, and is organized.
Also on the ballot is Jeana Houlahan. Houlahan is 40 and works out of her home.
Houlahan said she chose to run for the board because she has always been an advocate for children and education.
Houlahan said she thinks the board now works really hard. She said the board needs to remain focused on improving communication between buildings and also keeping technology current for the students in the district.
Houlahan said she has experience for the board because she has a degree in management and three kids at different age levels. She has experience with budgeting and was a substitute teacher and also took graduate courses in education.
She said she is the best candidate because she is involved in a lot of different activities in the district and understands the needs of the students.
The last candidate on the ballot is Bill Kephart. Kephart is 39 and works as a receiving manager.
Kephart said he decided to put his name on the ballot because he wants to get involved in the school system.
“I have two boys in the system and I want to be a part of the community,” said Kephart.
Kephart said the current school board is doing a good job and that they need to focus on dealing with the economy in the future.
“The current board works great together,” said Kephart. “They address issues and come to a consensus to do what is best for the district and kids.”
Kephart feels his management experience will help him work together with the other members as a team. He also has a masters degree in business management.




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