SIKESTON -- Area voters will have plenty of candidates to choose from come election time April 6 as they vote for the people they feel will best serve their schools.
Filing ended at 5 p.m. Tuesday for those seeking election to vacancies on their respective school boards -- a job that requires a lot of time and work without monetary pay, educators say.
"Basically the role of the school board is to make policies and lay down the framework for the district," explained JoAnne Northern, Scott County Central superintendent. "Obviously the enforcement comes through teachers and administration."
Northern pointed out school board members are like a community liaison.
"They're good at getting feedback from the community," Northern said. "People call them with questions or concerns. They're a good communication tool for the district."
Those looking to become the communication tool in the Sikeston R-6 School District are Mary White-Ross, Angela Longstreet, Paul Boyd and Jera Lincoln. Current board member Bob Depro and president Kenneth Anderson have decided not to seek re-election this year.
And long time Scott County R-4 (Kelly) board member Rita Milam and current president Sherry Glastetter have also opted not to run for re-election this year. Running for election are Tony Powell, Wayne Rockett, Lisa Howell and Janet Lee Kline.
Keeping with the trend, Scott County Central's current board of education secretary Kay Griffin and president Ronnie Cookson, who have served on the board for years, have decided not to run for the two three-year positions. Instead voters will have to choose between Steve Johnson, Michelle Fodge, Tanya Monroe and Linda Williams.
And at Portageville, current member Mark Inman and president Dalton Simpson have decided not to run for re-election. Four people have filed for the two vacancies on the school board. Competing for the positions are Mike Kellams, Derek Samples, Jim McKay and John Warren.
In the Charleston R-1 district, incumbents Mike Ellis and John Bledsoe are being challenged by Carol Jane Burke and Larry R. Smith.
Choices will be easy to make in the New Madrid County R-1 School District because the two positions held by current president Harvey Graham and vice president Randy Porter aren't being challenged, and both Graham and Porter have filed for re-election.
But due to a new state law revised in August, an election won't be necessary for the New Madrid County district since there is an equal number of candidates filing for the same number of offices to be filled, according to New Madrid County clerk Clement Cravens.
East Prairie R-2 will not have an election this year either. Dr. Jim Heath has decided not to seek re-election so incumbent Tim Wagner and candidate Carlla Turnbo will fill the two positions.
Voters in the Gideon School District will have to choose two of the five people running for the vacant three-year positions. Those running are Sharon Keown, Keith Berry, Jan Parker and incumbents Larry Wiggs and DeVon Buchanan.
Two three-year terms are up for grabs in the Risco School District. Running are incumbents Rickey York and Chad Howard and candidates Jared Baker and George Hampton.
At Oran R-3, the current vice president Will Bucher and member Rosalia Friga are being challenged by Eric Urhahn and Thomas L. Seyer.
Finally, two positions are open on the Richland R-1 School Board. Voters must decide between incumbents David Hueckel, who now serves as board secretary, and Scott Hillis, board vice president, and candidates Carrell Odom and Sandy McMullin.
Once board members are sworn in for the new school year, officers are elected. All terms are for three years.