2021 Webb City School Candidate Round-Up

It’s Morning Edition on KRPS; I’m Fred Fletcher-Fierro. Municipal elections, such as city, county, and school board elections, take place in Missouri on Tuesday, April 6. Earlier this week, the Webb City Community Teachers Association held a forum for School Board candidates. There are two seats available among four competitors, including newcomers Dr. Gretchen Shull, and Grant Collings, and incumbents Jason Woodmansee and Lisa Robinson.

We’ll first hear from Dr. Shull. She’s been an endocrinologist at Mercy Hospital in Joplin for over twelve years. She’d like to see more of a focus on nutrition among the students in the district. Dr. Shull spoke to her experience as a Webb Citian Monday and why she’s running for the Webb City School Board.

According to Dr. Shull, a students to connection to their community, even early in life is important. “One of my passions is to make sure that every child knows their identity and has that sense of community. That knows they can go and do anything that they want to, coming from a small town. It gives you the ability and confidence to go anywhere and compete from anyone that comes from any big city.”

From a 1995 Webb City grad Dr. Shull to 2005 graduate Grant Collings. Both newcomers to the race for school board. Collings is a clinical social worker with Freeman Hospitals Ozark Center. Grant would like to see students safely attending in-person classes, following recommendations from the CDC and county health officials.

In his opening statements Monday, Grant said that he was influenced by his Grandfather. “I would like to start off by telling a story about my Grandfather. He only completed the 10th grade, but he valued education in the community. He would vote for every school bond issue, teacher raise, all that stuff, even though he didn’t have any children or even grandchildren in the school district, and he passed those values on to me.” Upon moving into the Webb City School District, Grant felt like he flourished and wants to ensure that the next generation of Cardinals have the same experience.

Incumbent Jason Woodmansee is seeking a 5th term on the Webb City School Board. He says that public tax dollars should go toward public schools and not be siphoned off to private institutions. His ties to the school district run deep run. Graduating from Webb City high in 1994. His two-sons are currently students, and his wife is a 4th-grade teacher at Eugene Field Elementary. Woodmansee is proud of his time on the board.

Jason works in the occupational safety industry and his background has helped make Webb City schools safer. He proud to both serve on the school board and fellow citizens. “There’s a book that we read in our company it was called The Servant. And it’s by James Hunter. And it talks about the true essence of being a leader, and we need leaders to step up in our communities. And people who want to serve. And it’s not to serve for bragging rights. I’m not here to say that I’m on the board. Come to me with all of your issues. I’m available, and I want to hear about them.” According to Jason, Webb City schools are headed in the right direction because of good decisions made during his 12-year tenure.

This election includes two Webb City Valedictorians. 1995’s Gretchen Shull and 1985’s Valedictorian, Lisa Robinson. She works for the Small Business Development Center at Missouri Southern. On the topic of whether Webb City Schools should hire a diversity officer, Lisa said that she’d want to do some research and see how it would benefit students. Also, that her volunteer work for the city she loves is just part of who she is. “Through my work at Missouri Southern, I’m involved with the Webb City Chamber of Commerce. I sit on the board. And so I get to see how the city and school interact. I also get to be a part of the Webb City schools foundation and see the great things that the foundation is doing for our school system.”

Newcomers, Dr. Gretchen Shull and Grant Collings. And incumbents Jason Woodmansee and Lisa Robinson. Four candidates running for 2-seats on the Webb City School Board. Both seats are for three-year terms. The election takes place on Tuesday, April 6.

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