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Three filed for Fulton board of education election

by Anakin Bush | January 25, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

Three candidates, two of whom are incumbents, have filed to run in the April 4 election for the Fulton Public Schools Board of Education.

Only three positions are open for the election. Each board of education position serves a term of three years.

Joe Davis has refiled for his position on the board, where he currently serves as president. This would be his second term.

Davis has served a number of roles in the school district, he said. He has been a student, a teacher and a school administrator.

He currently works as a professor of education at William Woods University.

"Having all of those roles and now getting to see school governance from the perspective of a school board member has been really exciting and kind of feels like a way to give back to the school district," Davis said.

Davis has three children, two of whom are currently elementary school students in the district. His wife is also a teacher at Fulton High School.

Davis said he really enjoys working with superintendent Ty Crain.

"Dr. Crain also started his role as superintendent the same year I was elected," Davis said. "So we've kind of gone through this difficult period at the same time and I've enjoyed developing that relationship as well."

Davis said one of his priorities for his next term would include construction projects going on around the district, and he would like to continue seeing work done on those projects.

However, he said his main priority would be teachers.

"We're facing a critical teacher shortage in the state of Missouri. Our teachers are underpaid, and we're one of the lowest states in the nation on teacher pay. So a lot of what we do on our school board is advocate, so there's a lot of advocating through our state representatives and legislators to try to provide more support to public education," Davis said.

Davis said the board doesn't have a lot of control over increasing salaries, but it has done some compensation changes in his time on the board.

He said teachers need more time and autonomy in their work, and he thinks the school board can assist in that.

"So I think one of my priorities going into the next few years is 'How can we support teachers?'" Davis said. "Because when our teachers are happy and working well, then that is going to translate to student success as well."

The next group of officers for the board will be decided at the April meeting, Davis said. Nominations will be opened at the meeting for president, vice-president and secretary.

He said there are several other people on the board who are qualified to serve as president, so he doesn't anticipate being president again.

"...I think there is some advantage to having different people serve in that role, because you get to see things a little bit differently," Davis said.

Steven Medrow has filed for the upcoming election. He is the only newcomer who filed.

Medrow currently works as a project manager with the State of Missouri.

He said he feels qualified for the position because he has been involved in a lot of governance and other practices throughout his career.

"I've also had two children go through the Fulton Public Schools, so we've seen a lot of the Fulton Public Schools in that period of time. And I see this as an opportunity to work with the school system," Medrow said.

He said he thought about running for the board of education for a while, and the timing has finally worked out for him.

Medrow knows several of the other members on the board, and thinks he can work well with them.

He has also spoken to other board members about what the school board does, and wants to "continue the ongoing fair standards that the school board has in place."

Medrow said he wants the board to continue recognizing all students across different disciplines and different activities.

"I want to have the opportunity to keep a lot of those standards held, and I don't see a reason why the school board is missing any of that at this point but I want to do my part to keep that moving forward," Medrow said.

Being the only newcomer who filed for the election, Medrow said the idea of joining an already established group was a little daunting but it was something he has done before.

He also thinks it could be helpful to join the board as a newcomer.

"There is a lot to learn, but there is also potentially things I can bring to the board as well from that perspective," Medrow said.

Connie Epperson has refiled for her position on the board. She currently serves as secretary.

The Sun reached out to Epperson for comment, but did not receive a response.

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