School board candidates meet with NE residents

Dorri Partain
Northeast News
March 22, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — For its most recent meeting, the Indian Mound Neighborhood Association went beyond its boundaries.

Last night’s monthly meeting of the Indian Mound Neighborhood Association was expanded to include a forum for Kansas City Public Schools Board of Education candidates. The upcoming school board election is scheduled for Tuesday, April 5. In conjunction with Northeast Alliance Together [NEAT], all candidates running for the four vacant seats were invited to attend. Taking the stage in the auditorium of Gladstone Elementary, seven candidates answered questions posed by moderator and Indian Mound President Bryan Stalder.

As the sole write-in candidate for the Third Sub-district, an area that covers much of the Historic Northeast, John Fierro is seeking the current board member Marisol Montero’s seat. Montero has not filed for re-election. Fierro, CEO of the Mattie Rhodes Center, stated he has made a commitment to community service, which is front and center to his philosophy. A graduate of Westport High School, he is also a parent and grandparent of children currently attending KCPS schools.

As a board member, his goal is to put more emphasis in early childhood education by offering free preschool to all children in the KCPS boundaries. Currently only one-fifth of preschool children are able to participate. He said he would also challenge the school board to work externally with the community, instead of internally, as they have in the past.

In the race for First District At- Large, Jennifer Wolfsie is unopposed and her name will not appear on the ballet during the election. By being the only candidate filing for the the uncontested seat, she has automatically been elected. This seat is currently occupied by Airick West, who is not seeking re-election.

In the First Sub-district race, Albert Ray, an architect, and Natalie Lewis, an educator, are both write-in candidates for the seat being vacated by current board chair Jon Hile. Three candidates are vying for the write-in vote in the Fifth Sub-district race; Bryan Dial, an educator in the private sector, Catina Taylor, an educator for KCPS, and Ajia Morris, a lawyer. Curtis Rogers currently holds that seat on the board. Northeast residents will not be voting for these candidates.

All board members elected this year would serve until 2019.

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