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Four candidates are competing to fill three seats in the South Callaway Board of Education during the June 2 municipal election.

The election was previously scheduled for April 7 but was postponed in response to COVID-19. Candidates include Penny Felkner, Janice Howard, Stephanie Laney and Robert Munford.

This is the first of a two-part series of South Callaway candidate profiles and includes Felkner and Howard. The second part will run in Sunday's paper.

Penny Felkner

Penny Felkner has lived in the South Callaway R-2 School District for 29 years. Felkner and her husband, Gary, have two children and two step-children who graduated from South Callaway High School. She works for the University of Missouri as a database administrator.

Why did you decide to run for this position?

I am running for school board because I have been involved with different organizations and activities with the school district. I care about the community and want to be involved in helping the students to have the tools they need to succeed in school. I want students to be equipped for whatever they want to do, whether that be attending trade school, college or starting their career.

What are your qualifications?

My qualification are that I have completed the school board training and completed the new required updated training. I am a citizen of the South Callaway R-II School District.

What do you see as the biggest issue facing your school district, and how do you plan to solve it?

One of the biggest issues for the district is the budget, especially with the nuclear plant value fluctuations. And with the COVID-19 pandemic, remote teaching was something the school administrators and teachers had to address quickly. With remote teaching we need to look at what worked well and how we can improve the processes that didn't work as well.

What is your strategy for attracting and retaining quality teachers in your district?

I feel that there are a lot of teachers who want to work for the district. We have made sure we have a competitive benefits package to attract and retain teachers.

Janice Howard

Janice Howard resides in South Callaway R-2 School District with her husband, Nathan. Howard is employed as an office manager and has been with her current employer for 28 years. She graduated from South Callaway in 1979, and she said she has greatly enjoyed and learned an incredible amount by serving on the Board of Education for the South Callaway R-2 School District for the past three years.

Why did you decide to run for this position?

I ran for this position to make a contribution to the district from which I graduated.

What are your qualifications?

As far as qualifications, if you have the ability and want to learn, I feel you are qualified for the position. Also, if you have the desire to improve the lives of the students and those in careers to advance children and young adults in their lives.

What do you see as the biggest issue facing your school district, and how do you plan to solve it?

Funding all the necessary needs is always vital. There are constant changes occurring in the field of education, and it is often a challenge to keep step with those changes. No one board member can solve any issue. It is vital to work together as a team. I feel the current board does that well.

What is your strategy for attracting and retaining quality teachers in your district?

Our school district makes every effort to attract and retain quality teachers. I think the letters we receive from teachers needing to move elsewhere due to life situations is a testimony to how good this district is to its teachers.

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