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Meet the Four Candidates Running for Rockwood School Board

The two incumbents on the Rockwood School Board are facing two challengers, and the Rockwood School District has provided brief profiles on all four candidates for the April 2 election.

The following information was provided by the Rockwood School District and is available on the district's website. The district will also host a candidate forum on March 5. 

Jeffrey R. Morrell

Personal Information: I graduated from U.C.L.A. with a bachelor’s degree in 1989.  I recently retired from Enterprise Holdings in Clayton, Mo. after serving for 23 years.  While at Enterprise Holdings, I held positions ranging from Branch and Regional operations in several markets to Corporate Vice President in St. Louis for the past 12 years.  

Personal Statement: I’ve enjoyed raising two children in St. Louis and value the quality education they’ve received and are currently receiving from Rockwood Schools.  I believe it is time for the School Board to begin the serious business of solving the unsustainable budget shortfalls so that the bright students of the next decade may benefit from the same quality education available to our children.  What’s required is a laser focus on fiscal responsibility so that we may continue to provide a quality education for our children provided by top-notch highly motivated teachers.   

Loralee Mondl

Personal Information: Our family has lived in Rockwood for the past seven years, with our sons attending Rockwood Schools.  I have Bachelor degrees in Chemistry, Math and Education from UMSL in addition to a Master’s degree in Education from Lindenwood University. 
 
Experience: I was a teacher and coach at Marquette High School for five years.  For the past 11 years, I have been raising our children, while being active as PTO Treasurer and Co-President.  I have served on several district committees including the Curriculum Advisory Council and the Guidance Advisory Council, in addition to being on the Facilitating Team for Picture Rockwood.  Most importantly though, I have lived my passion as a classroom volunteer by helping the kids in our district.

Personal Statement: I have been a proud part of this district for many years as a teacher, parent, and volunteer and feel a personal responsibility to be involved in the Rockwood community.  I am deeply inspired by the children I have worked with and am forever grateful to the teachers that continue to mold each child every day.  I am driven by an obligation to be the voice of the community as a representative on the Rockwood School District Board of Education.

Stephen (Steve) Banton

Personal Information:

  • My wife, Linda and I have lived in Rockwood since 1996.  Our children KateLynne and Stephen II attend Rockwood schools
  • Served on faculties of Washington and Saint Louis Universities
  • Eagle Scout and volunteer, Boy Scouts of America
  • Partner with Quinn and Banton Law Firm
  • Member, West County Community Church

Experience:

  • Board member for 15 years
  • Former Board President
  • Served on committees including:  Facilities, Operations, Steering and others
  • Served on Rockwood Schools Foundation Board of Directors
  • Former Member, Governing Council of Special School District
  • Member, Missouri School Boards’ Association Board of Directors

Personal Statement: It has been my pleasure to serve you for 15 years along with the other wonderful parents, staff, teachers, administrators and patrons of Rockwood. Together we have improved student achievement – all four of our high schools now rank in the top eight in the state in advanced placement.

Together we continue to use wisely tax revenue.  In a recent study done by the Center for American Progress of all Missouri’s 523 school districts, Rockwood was rated first for student achievement per dollar in all categories.

It is my concern that we continue to build on our successes and improve our district so that all children can realize their potential.

Janet Strate

Personal Information: I am married to Matt Strate and we have three sons who all attend Rockwood schools.  I have a bachelor’s degree from Mizzou and a master’s of business administration with a finance emphasis from Webster University.  I am a Certified Public Accountant (C.P.A.) and I worked for 20 years in the banking industry.

Experience: I have served on the Rockwood Board of Education since 2004, as well as the Governing Council of the Special School District.  I was a member of the Curriculum and Instruction Committee, Curriculum Advisory Committee, and I served as Committee Chair for Point Rockwood in 2003-2004.

Personal Statement: I have proudly volunteered as a member of the Rockwood Board of Education for the past nine years due to my commitment to the children of our school district and the taxpayers that support our committment of fiscal responsibility.  It is my belief that by providing a good, solid education – for children of all abilities – will make our community stronger.  My background as a fiscal conservative has been very helpful in managing the complex challenges of budget shortfalls and increasing enrollment. Students are at the center of our work and our decisions.

Rockwood Stakeholders for Real Solutions February 20, 2013 at 03:52 AM
RS for RS submitted 4 Key Questions to each candidate on February 15, 2013 via their e-mail. Their answers will be featured on our website during the month of March. http://rsdstakeholders.org/candidate-profile-2013/ Staff and Educational Needs Question: Do you believe the District is top heavy and if so, how would you balance out the staffing or other modes of operation, so monies can be spent on direct instruction and support for the students? Example, while administrators have support staff and communications and marketing have consultants, our teachers face increased class sizes and no full time aide. Accountability and Transparency Question: Now that it has been made public that questionable business practices, such as construction contracts, credit card charges and RFP’s, were observed and /or overlooked during their watch by past and present members of the Superintendent’s Cabinet, how will you as a Director of the Board hold this team accountable for their actions and decisions in the future?
Rockwood Stakeholders for Real Solutions February 20, 2013 at 03:52 AM
Restoring confidence and maintaining fiscal support. Question: How do you anticipate garnering and retaining support of the retired Rockwood taxpayer who is already forfeiting a month of social security income annually to the Rockwood School District; and how would you do the same for the private school taxpayer who feels they should not have to pay for a public education their children are not receiving? Representing the community; their needs, concerns and issues. Question: It appears the High School Late Start Schedule for 2013 – 2015 was decided with very little feedback from the community. With a decision that greatly impacts every family, how would you, as an elected representative of the people, gather the opinions of those in the community before you vote on such a schedule/program?

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