Willard Board of Education — Candidate Profiles

Jennifer Triplett
Age: 49
Occupation: Attorney - Business Planning, Estate Planning and Juvenile/Family Law
Why should someone vote for you?
I believe I can represent a different and broad perspective when it comes to the needs of our children.
I have both typical children, as well as a daughter with special needs in our school system. My daughter Nora has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, is nonverbal, in a wheelchair, requires a feeding tube and other medical and educational accommodations. She attends Willard High School every day, and the Special Skills team are a very amazing group of dedicated and caring people. I am familiar with many other families also dealing with varying needs.
I am also an attorney practicing in various types of juvenile and family law, as well as a Guardian ad Litem attorney for the Greene County Juvenile Office where I represent children in foster care who have been removed from their homes for many different reasons. This includes everything from physical and emotional abuse, neglect, substance abuse, mental health issues and more. I represent children from infancy into adulthood.
I see each and every day the struggles of children, as well as the many issues that schools have to deal with day in and day out. Frankly, all of our children are special and different, and we need to recognize that in providing education and resources to them. Schools don’t just educate our children. They parent them, counsel them, feed them, provide therapy and more. Our teachers are the front line and we need to hear them and provide resources to them and to the children as best we can.
We also need to hear our parents. I believe I can provide a more expansive view of the issues put before us, as well as provide an ear to the community in regards to both their compliments and concerns so that we can continue the great work that our school system does each day. Running a school system is immensely complex. I am honored to have the opportunity to play a part in improving the lives of ALL our children.

Christopher Moak
Age: 35
Occupation: Accountant – Founder and CEO of Springfield Bookkeeping & Accounting
Why should someone vote for you? I am running for many reasons but here are three top reasons why I am running and why someone should vote for me. 1) Transparency: We need to increase transparency and communication between the school board and the community. I support live broadcast, recording, and dissemination of all open to the public school board meetings. 2) Accountability: We need to make our school board more accountable to the community. That is why I support the right of a community to recall school board members. Did you know a member of our school board attempted to pass forced vaccination of all teachers and staff with no medical or religious exemption? We need our school board to reflect our values. 3) Stewardship: I am the most qualified of all the candidates to ensure our tax dollars are cared for properly. I promise to increase efficiency and cut waste. I will push for those savings to be reallocated to our teachers and staff in the form of higher salaries. Did you know the average teacher in our district makes $2,000 less per year than the state average?

Elizabeth Nothum
Age: 34
Occupation: I am a stay at home mom of five. I teach an exercise class for fun at Willard Recreation Center a few times a week.
Why should someone vote for you?
People should vote for me because they want to see a change in the Willard School District. I am a parent that cares enough about all of the kids within the district, including my own five children, that I am willing to put myself out there to speak up, be a voice for the Willard families and go to work. Instead of complaining about what I don’t like within the district, I want to help pivot the direction it is going and make some needed changes. This fall, we will have all five of our kids within four of the different schools in Willard: one in the high school, one in the middle school, one in the intermediate school, and two in the elementary school. I care about Willard schools because I care about my kids. I want the best for them and I won’t be passive in watching our district make poor decisions that will affect them and their classmates not only now but in the future. Willard schools are amazing, but there are subtle modifications that are easing into the system that are not good for the students, families, staff members, stakeholders, and members of the Willard community as a whole. I am a Christian, I am a conservative, and I would love to serve the Willard Schools by being elected to the Willard School Board of Education.

David Menditto
Age: 45
Occupation: Owner of Springfield Mow
Why should someone vote for you?
I feel I am a good candidate for this position because I not only care about this community, I also represent the values of this community. With my three kids attending two of the schools and owning a small business here, the success of Willard affects my family. We need to work on teacher retention for our great teachers and figure out how to keep our Midwest values while advocating for change that makes our district top-notch. A great school district fosters a great community and a great community fosters a great school district. I want Willard to be great all the way around.

Kip Baker
Age: 57
Occupation: Farmers Insurance agent and have my agency in Willard.
Why should someone vote for you?
I have been on the school board for 14 years and am the only one up for re-election. I have and always will do everything I can to promote a healthy, safe, and friendly environment for our kids, employees, administration, and community. My record will show that I have committed to carrying the message that our community expects and feel that my open door policy has provided opportunities for patrons to come and voice their concerns.
I feel that we are in a critical transition period when it comes to retaining our employees as we are in the beginning of a national shortage of college graduates going into the teaching field. I feel we have to make sure our teachers and staff feel valued and make sure we are staying competitive in the marketplace to retain the best qualified staff as well as having them have a seat at the table to have a voice in what is happening in their classrooms on a day to day basis.
I try to gather as much information that will affect our students when making decisions knowing it will impact all of our students and not just a few.
I feel my experience on the board will allow our team to continue with the plans in our bond issue, as well as the recent changes being made with our staff. I feel I have been consistent throughout my time on the board and hope to serve our community for another three years.

The following are short profiles of candidates vying for a seat on the Willard Board of Education, as decided on the Tuesday, April 5 ballot. Two seats are available, with each lasting three years.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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