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Warrensburg school board candidates focus on goals

Warrensburg school board candidate Doug West (left) makes a point while competing candidates (left to right) Paul Weick, Richelene Morey and Brian Lace listen during a Meet the Candidates Night event held Monday May 8 at Warrensburg High School.

Warrensburg school board candidate Doug West (left) makes a point while competing candidates (left to right) Paul Weick, Richelene Morey and Brian Lace listen during a Meet the Candidates Night event held Monday May 8 at Warrensburg High School. Photo by Thom Randall.

— Noting his 36 years of local residency, Lace said that the district’s $21 million annual budget was too high for Warrensburg, and that he sought to lower it.

“If we don’t curtail costs, we’re going to have this district go bankrupt in several years,” he said.

Lace said that if elected, he’d help achieve solutions to balancing affordability with a quality program, citing that he’d be seeking to lower heating and transportation fuel costs, advocate for tough negotiations on teachers contracts and explore school consolidation.

Noting she was a WCS graduate as well as all her relatives, Richelene Morey said her experience would be useful in striking the balance between quality and affordability.

“It’s an exciting time in the world of education,” she said. “There are a lot of changes occurring.”

She said that the school board needed to focus more on long-term, comprehensive planning of programs, and exploration of consolidation. She also said she supported offering more Advanced Placement courses, while making sure that all students had equal opportunities for accelerated achievement.

Weick pledge to listen to the community, the administration and employees in making policy decisions. He noted that several 2012 WCS seniors were headed to two of the nation’s top colleges.

“I want to assure we maintain the high quality school that we have now,” he said. “The future of the town depends on it.”

West said that if elected, he’d be seeking to examine trends and help the board get in the forefront of issues, rather than reacting to problems as they occur. As an example, he said that teacher evaluations, to be fair and accurate, should be customized.

Weick suggested that potential teacher contract concessions should be explored in a collaborative manner. “Other districts are getting concessions — should we be getting more in our district,” he asked. West offered a similar view, noting he wasn’t yet aware of details, as he was not yet on the board.

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