Fulton school board reviews applications for vacancy

The Fulton School Board received five letters of interest for the vacancy created by the recent resignation of Linda Davis, which members briefly reviewed during a special meeting Wednesday night.

Jeffrey Stone, a Fulton native who works as an administrator at Fulton State Hospital, wrote that he has “a detailed understanding of budgeting, resource management, strategic planning and multi-building facilities operations.”

“I bring a perspective of history in this community as well as an outlook on the future and the great potential of our school district,” Stone — who has two children in the district — wrote in his letter. “My interest, enthusiasm, passion and commitment to the educational journey of our children will make me a valuable addition to the FPS Board of Education.”

Former Fulton High School English and publications teacher Paula Fessler also expressed an interest, writing that through her experiences working in the district, “I had interactions with almost all the students in the building, whether or not they had been in one of my classes.”

“This experience would serve me well were I to become a member of the Board of Education,” Fessler wrote. “An understanding of teacher and student concerns, curriculum development and implementation and the need for setting — and achieving — high standards would provide valuable insight in making decisions necessary to carry on the positive achievements for which the Fulton School District is well known.”

Former board member Clint Smith wrote that, “To me the opportunity to witness and be a part of success first hand, as well as make the decisions to enable it makes it worth all the effort. ... I would like to request to be a part of that process again.”

His letter also made reference to his failed bid for a second term in April 2011.

“After the democratic process did not allow me to continue my term on the Fulton Board of Education, I realize there may be some negativity if I return to the board. The voters are a part of our community and I feel that many chose not to elect me for ... reasons about my decisions as a director,” Smith wrote. “However, as I look back I would not change any of the choices made in my three-year term.

“Many of you were a part of those decisions, and while some were not popular, many were a must for the financial survival of our district.”

Crystal Baxton Morris — a registered nurse for the Callaway County Jail, the Arthur Center and an Apprentice Funeral Director for Maupin Funeral Home — wrote that, “I place high value and respect to the Fulton Public School system due to having two children graduate from Fulton, a mother who recently retired from the Fulton Public Schools and a son ... at the middle school.”

“I am a successful, respectable and a hard-working individual who works well in a team environment and would bring an open mind and compassion to the Fulton School Board,” Morris wrote.

Andy Bonderer wrote that he had been encouraged to put his name in for the board vacancy by friends and Fulton schools faculty.

“As the spouse of an educator of 20-plus years, the challenges facing the educational system are very near to my heart,” wrote Bonderer, adding that he has two children in the district. “Serving the school system that has been serving them so well would be a privilege.”

All five prospective board members will have the opportunity to appear before the board at its March 7 meeting.

“On March 7th we will entertain comments, allow each individual to give a statement on their interest and have open discussion,” board president Scott King said, noting the order in which the individuals speak will be determined by random drawing. “Right now we’re looking at allowing five minutes (per candidate).”

The March 7 meeting will start at 7 p.m. in the Fulton High School library.

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