With the election filing deadline looming Jan. 21, the Fulton Sun takes a look at the candidates who already have tossed their names into the ring for open city council and school board seats around Callaway County. We asked each of the candidates why they chose to run, and what their top three goals are, should they be elected.
As of early Friday afternoon, there are three candidates for the three open seats on the Fulton Public Schools Board of Education:
•Incumbent David "Rob" Hunter is finishing his first year with the board - he took over the seat vacated by Linda Davis in 2012 -and said he wanted to run for a full term because there are still things he wants to accomplish.
"Since the first time I ran over four years ago, several things I wanted to get accomplished have come about - I wanted to get rid of early out days, I was in support of getting rid of block scheduling at the high school and I wanted a coherent snow policy," Hunter said. "My last major goal is that I still have big questions about how curriculum is debated, purchased and implemented at the elementary level."
In addition to curriculum development, Hunter said he wants to focus on the use of Everyday Math in the elementary schools - which he is concerned is to blame for low math scores at the middle school level - and the Affordable Health Care Act and "what it will mean to the district and the coverage we can offer our teachers. Right now we're in the multi-thousands deductible range, and that can be quite a burden."
•Incumbent Kevin Habjan is finishing his first three-year term on the board and said he also wants to serve a second term because he feels like he has more to offer now that he is more familiar with how the school board works.
"I'm just now beginning to feel comfortable, and I think there are more things I can do to help," Habjan said.
Habjan said his goals for the next term would be to continue to increased use of technology throughout the district; to start looking at program growth "now that our budget has stabilized"; and - although funding would be an issue - to look at options for early childhood education.
"You see a lot of benefits in the long run for the students that get that," Habjan said in reference to early childhood learning.
•Ruth Burt is a former district employee who said she decided to run because she is interested in learning more about how the school district is run.
"I believe it is a civic duty," Burt said. "I am retired now, and I do have grandchildren in the district, and I'm interested in what goes on."
Burt identified improving Fulton's graduation rate, school attendance and school safety as the three issues she would like to focus on over the next few years.
"Those are the things I feel need our utmost attention," Burt said.