Voters in the Pattonville School Distirct will decide who will represent them on the local school board, and this year they’ll have more choice. Three candidates have filed to run for two spots on the board.
Incumbents Jeanne Schottmueller and Ralph Stahlhut will try to retain their seats on the board, while newcomer Michael Bailey will try to infuse the district with new blood.
Incumbents vie for another term
Incumbent candidate Ralph Stahlhut has spent the last 22 years on Pattonville School Board, and wants to bring that experience back to the district for another term.
“I feel like there are still things that need to be accomplished,” he said.
The most important issue facing the district, he said, is a financial one. Pattonville School District will see a decrease in funding from the state of Missouri. With Pattonville’s operating levy already at maximum, Pattonville will have to continue with less money.
Stahlhut puts a priority on education—saying completing high school is essential.
“Without education we’re nowhere,” he said.
Jeanne Schottmueller, also an incumbent candidate, did not respond to several requests for an interview. However, she did submit information for the League of Women Voters Election Guide.
New kid on the block
2012 saw a challenge to the status quo of Pattonville. Michael Bailey also filed to run for a seat on the school board.
Bailey said his three children graduated from the district, and his oldest daughter teaches English at . He champions education, saying it can help bridge differences.
“Education is absolutely one of the most important facets of our culture,” Bailey said.
Bailey said the board needs new ideas and hopes to build a stronger relationship between the board and the community. While Pattonville is one of the best school districts in the country, he said, there’s always room for improvement.
The 2012 school board election will be Bailey’s first run for public office, though he’s been involved community service for decades. He spent 28 years volunteering with the Kiwanis Club, and served as the public relations committee chair for the organization’s international conference in the early 90s.
Bailey says important issues face Pattonville: class size and maintaining facilities at an acceptable level. He said also that keeping a book in every students hand should be a priority.
As for the staple St. Louis question— “Where did you go to high school?”— Bailey said he attended Perry High School in Pittsburgh, PA.
Election day is April 3.