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0000017b-27e8-d2e5-a37b-7fffd9d20000Below, check out our coverage of the candidates and issues on the general municipal ballot for southwest Missouri.The polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7. For local polling or ballot details, find your election authority here.Don't know where to vote? Or have other voter-related questions? Click here.On Election Night, 7 p.m. or later: Check for Greene County results on its website, Facebook, or on Twitter.

What's it Like to Serve on the Springfield School Board? A Longtime Member Explains

Theresa Bettman

Educated citizens are crucial to “Making Democracy Work.”  Ilga Vise talks with Dr. Denise Frederick, the president of the Springfield Public Schools Board of Education.  Dr. Frederick was elected to the Board in 2011 and has served as its president for the last three years.

According to Frederick, members of the Board of Education have an important job in the Springfield Public School system.  They set the policies to guarantee that students get the best education possible.  They evaluate the work of the superintendent, play a role in his/her hiring, plus evaluate  other staff positions, and approve the budget.

Seven members serve on the Board.  Frederick says, since the last census, the term of three years was changed back to six, due to an adjoining county reaching a population of 100,000, and designated as a first class county.  However, a legislation before the governor will revert the length of the term to three years for the Springfield Board members.  The six year term will still appear on the Tuesday’s ballot.

Each person who serves on the Board gives a significant amount of time to this commitment.  Besides the two monthly meetings, time is devoted to studying the proposals before the Board, attending conferences and other study sessions, the total adding up to many more than just 20 hours per week, according to Frederick.  This is not a paid position. 

After persons are elected to the Board, they attend training sessions on various topics that the Board will be considering during his or her term, she says.

The qualifications for a person to serve on the Board of Education are as follows: be age 24 and have lived in the district for at least one year at the time of election, and in the state for one year.  He or she cannot have a criminal record.

In order to become a candidate, a person must gather 500 signatures, turn those in to be verified, then take all the steps necessary to be elected, such as forming a committee, fund raising and disclosure of finances.

On April 7, three new School Board members will be chosen from among 5 candidates on the current ballot. 

The mission of the League of Women Voters is to educate its own members and the public at large.  A candidate forum will be held on Monday, March 23, at 6:30 pm, on the first floor of the Missouri State University’s Alumni Center, located at the corner of Jefferson and McDaniel Streets.  Ample parking is available in the parking garage, which can be accessed from McDaniel Street.  Come out and meet the candidates!

Dr. Denise Fredrick says it's important for voters to meet candidates in person before they decide who to vote for on election day.