It’s Morning Edition on KRPS, I’m Fred Fletcher-Fierro. This month I’m covering municipal elections taking place in Missouri on Tuesday, April 6th. Today, we’ll meet Webb City native Jason Woodmansee, who seeks to earn a 5th, 3-year term on the city’s school board. Jason and his family’s roots run deep in Webb City, his wife, a 4th-grade teacher at Eugene Field Elementary. Also, their two-sons currently enrolled in Webb City Schools. Jason believes that he has helped guide the district in the right direction during his 12-year tenure.
“We stand for the right things as a district. Preparing today’s youth to meet all of the challenges that they are going to see in our world. It’s a global economy; I work for a global company, and I support about 20 locations all across the US for occupational health, safety, security, and environment, so I deal with governmental agencies like EPA, OSHA, Missouri DNR, I deal with agencies like that. And looking at where kids are going to go, whether they go on to college or go on to a career path, our goal is to give them the proper development and education for them to be successful. As we always say, we want our Cardinals to fly and let them know they can go anywhere from here.”Jason Woodmansee
Jason views the work of a school board to recommend ideas and discuss them with district administration and access if they are a good fit to implement in Webb City Schools. He views his work on the school board as a way to give back to a community that has given him so much.
“From an individual perspective, has a board-member. I don’t look to accomplish anything other than to serve the community. To serve all students in our district the best I can. But obviously, the key is we rely on the people that we put in the right positions in our district who are educators to come to us as a board with recommendations on directions that we need to go, programs that we need to implement. We trust them, and we have the right people in the right seats to drive the bus; the bus is going to go down the road, and we’re going to move in the right direction.”Jason Woodmansee
Jason’s professional background working in occupational safety, he says, has helped guide improvements at the school district to ensure that students, staff, and faculty are safer. Improvements, such as at the high school, where visitors enter through a separate set of doors that do not give them access to the rest of the building until they are verified, that’s in addition to upgrading the baseball fields. Also, the construction of tornado safe rooms at every school district wide Over the past year, like school districts worldwide, Webb City has turned its attention to Covid-19.
“Right now, the most successful thing that we’ve been able to do is have school. The company that I work for is in 43-counties. You look at across North America; particularly, there’s a lot of schools and classes that are not having schools. And I hear it all the time when I’m on the phone with individuals that I work with, and they ask what we’re doing, and I say, we’re in school. We offered a hybrid program. If people are uncomfortable, they can do virtual school. But we’ve offered that option to do class, in-person school. I think that’s been one of the biggest successes we’ve had in the past year and a half. You look back at the 12-years, time that I’ve been on the board. I think just the continuing collaboration in our district. And ensuring that student graduation rates are up. We’ve had schools that have been recognized on a national level for their educational excellence. And our class-sizes remain good. And most importantly, we provide a safe building for those kids to come to, to get a good education.“Jason Woodmansee
Community involvement, the church, and parents are the three pillars that help support a school district and help make it successful according to Jason. He says, during his time serving on the school board, the district has made continuous improvements.
“We’re not going to continue on the status quo; we’re going to continue to get better. Each and every day, every program that we teach. Every program that we offer. Whether kids are going to college or they’re going to a career path. If somebody wants to elect me, I’m going to continue down that path. I don’t see a lot of change that is needed. It’s just change that’s necessary, needs to be an improvement.”Jason Woodmansee
Jason Woodmansee is running for 1 of 2 seats on the Webb City School Board. The field also includes incumbent Lisa Robinson Hartman, and newcomers Gretchen Schull, and Grant Collings. Each of the two seats holds a three-year term.
Municipal elections throughout Missouri are being held on Tuesday, April 6th.
This link will direct you to the Jasper County elections website where you can find your voting location and see a sample ballot.
Candidate Lisa Hartman Robinson declined to be interviewed for this project.
All four candidates for will participate in a forum at Webb City High School Barton Auditorium, Monday, March 29, at 7:00 P.M.