It’s Morning Edition on KRPS. I’m Fred Fletcher-Fierro. Numerous city, county, and school board elections will take place in Missouri on Tuesday, April 6. Including 2-seats on the Joplin School Board. Josh Bard is one of three candidates running to fill a three-year seat on the board. Josh was born and raised in Joplin. A Father of 5 who currently has a son attending Joplin high school and a granddaughter attending a Joplin elementary school. Josh and I met recently at the Braum’s on Rangeline and says, if elected, he would like to focus on continuity between district administration and schools.
“A lot of the schools on the same page in certain areas. They all seem to operate a little different. As far as a base foundation we should probably implement some areas, some policies that all, (all school districts), all schools in the district, fall under.” Josh Bard
According to Josh, Joplin schools should create a set of standards among all schools in the district so that students and their actions will be treated more fairly by teachers and staff.
“It’s one of those things that, you know, you go to one school and a student maybe treated one way, and you go to a different school and they are treated a different way. And I would like to see a consistency across the board when it comes to that particular treatment.” Josh Bard
On the issue of Covid 19, Josh believes that Joplin schools, their board, and administration made the best decisions they could with the information that was available at the time. He also wants to make sure that future judgments regarding Covid are consistent with previous decisions.
“Everything changes of course. I think the school district handled that well. Depending in the future on how we go, ahead without Covid or with Covid being a normal part of our lives. How we pave that way and make for sure, that foundation that we lay, for years to come, or just a few months to come, is paved and paved right.” Josh Bard
Regardless of the decisions made by the school board and Joplin administration during the pandemic, they were difficult and were compared to neighboring districts. If elected, Josh says that he would advocate on behalf of public schools. That parents can chose to send their kids to private schools, but that public schools are a backbone of our society.
“I came up through a public school. I think the majority of us came up through public schools. I have nothing against a private school. But most parents can’t afford a private school. I have nothing against private schools, but at the same time public schools are where most of our students go. That’s where they go to thrive and learn who they’re going to be.” Josh Bard
According to Josh, it isn’t easy to put the finger on what the future will hold for Joplin schools and the district priorities because of the pandemic. That ut has created a new level of uncertainty for school districts, their employees, the students, and their parents, and it’s hard to know where society will be in the coming months.
“I’ve been around the area forever. I’ve been involved in the school district for a long time. I do know the ins and outs, better than most. And I would definitely be the one to get in there, have a voice, use the voice, and make sure those voices can be used, will be heard.” Josh Bard
Despite the setbacks in two previous elections to serve on the Joplin City Council, Josh says he still desires to serve his community. His rich background and first-hand knowledge as a Joplin student and now having his kids and grandchildren in the district drives his ambition to continue to make a difference in the community.
“I love serving our community. I love advocating for those that need a voice. It’s something that over the past six or seven years I have enjoyed a lot.” Josh Bard
Josh Bard is 1 of 3 candidates running for 1 of 2, 3-year positions on the Joplin School Board. John Hird and Rylee Hartwell are also running. Many city, country, and school board elections in Missouri take place Tuesday, April 6.