Campaigns are underway for Board of Education seats in ten local districts, and election day will be Tuesday, April 3. The KC Education Enterprise is asking each candidate to respond to a list of questions that may help voters decide how to cast their ballots.
Billy R. Kossen, who is running for election to the Platte County R-3 School District Board of Education, responded:
1. What skills and experience would you bring to a position on your local Board of Education?
Answer: I am currently a Supervisor for Environmental Utility Services at Bayer Corporation. My strong interpersonal communication skill sets have allowed me to successfully achieve identified goals and objectives while working with various personality types.
2. Are you – or have you been – a parent or grandparent of a child in public schools?
Answer: My wife and I are both 1975 graduates of Platte County High School.
We raised two children in the Platte County School District. We currently have a five-year old granddaughter that attends public school in the Holden School District.
3. In what school or district activities have you been involved?
Answer: I served as President of the Platte City Youth Wrestling Club and on their board. I have coached baseball, softball, wrestling and football for my children. Additionally, I served on the Platte City Athletic Association, and was a member of the Platte County High School Booster Club.
4. How frequently do you attend board meetings, and how long have you been attending meetings?
Answer: Until recently, my work schedule had precluded me from regularly attending board meetings. However, I was able to keep abreast of district affairs through my wife, who served as board secretary. For the past few months I have attended meetings to become informed and aware of current issues.
5. What do you see as the board’s roles and responsibilities?
Answer: The number one role of the School Board is to place the best leader in the position of Superintendent. Their selection will provide the necessary guidance, direction and motivation to staff, students, parents and the community for district success. The School Board makes decisions and policies that give direction to implement the School Improvement Plan.
6. What is the role of the Superintendent?
Answer: The Superintendent’s role is to guide, direct and motivate employees, students and the community to achieve the goals and objectives of the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan.
7. Can – or should you – support a board decision you do not favor?
Answer: Once the democratic process of voting has occurred, I will support the board’s collective decision.
8. What are some of the challenges currently facing your district?
Answer: I feel the biggest challenge facing the district is managing the projected growth in the coming years.
9. What are some of the district’s strengths and weaknesses?
Answer: I feel the district’s strengths are the community and its involvement. Platte County School District faces the same challenges as most growing suburban districts; managing growth, hiring and retaining the best staff, and addressing the individual needs of all students.
10. What do you think is the most important thing board members can do to support children who attend school in the district?
Answer: Take the board position seriously, come prepared to work hard, and stay abreast of current issues facing education.
In conclusion, I want to emphasize that my focus will be on the Platte County R-3 School District and what is important to all students for their academic success. My children are grown and my work schedule affords me the opportunity to commit the necessary time and energy needed in this important position.
I would appreciate your support on April 3rd. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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