SIKESTON -- Races are heating up as several local residents have already filed for their district's open school board positions.
Filing for the April 5 election began Dec. 14, and those still interested have until 5 p.m. Jan. 18 to declare candidacy.
So far the turnout is normal, said Rice P. Burns Jr., Sikeston R-6 Board of Education secretary.
"Usually you'll see folks file right at the beginning and then right at the end of the deadline," Burns noted Tuesday.
Those who wish to file for the Sikeston R-6 district can do so at Burns' office, located at 733 North Main St. in Sikeston. Candidates for all other school districts can file at their district's central office.
Board member qualifications include being a resident taxpayer of the district who has resided in Missouri at least one year and is at least 24 years of age. All local positions are for three-year terms.
Three positions are up for grabs in the Sikeston R-6 district, and the incumbents -- board president Greg Colwick and board members Rick Adams and Bill Priday -- have refiled.
In the Scott County Central District, three positions currently held by president Mark Freed and members Dick Griffin and Michael Blissett are open. Incumbents Freed and Griffin have refiled. In addition two new candidates, Tanya Monroe and Lisa Lewis, have filed for the three-year terms.
Three positions are available in the New Madrid County R-1 School District. Two incumbents, Scott Riley and Don Brittain, and the Rev. Marvelle Cranford have chosen to run for openings while incumbent John Davis has not yet refiled. Only one person has filed in the Kelly R-4 School District. Three positions are open and incumbent Sonny Scheffer has refiled. Current member Teresa DeWitt and treasurer Mike Riley have not refiled as of Dec. 17, when the district's office closed for the holiday break.
All three of the incumbents in the Charleston R-1 school district have chosen to refile. Hubert Delay Jr., Jim Browning and Clarence Sam Zellars will be on the ballot in the upcoming election.
Following a similar trend, incumbents secretary Tina DeLisle, president Mark Moody and member Lynda Priggel have refiled for their positions on the Portageville district's school board.
In East Prairie, two people have filed for the R-2 district's three open positions. Incumbent Pat Helms and new candidate Randy Cook have filed. The district's two other incumbents, vice president Steve Jones and member John Thurman have not yet filed for election.
None of the incumbents -- Larry Hatfield, Jerry Lange and Mark Eftink -- have refiled for their positions on the Oran R-3 school board. However, Gerard Dirnberger has declared candidacy for one of the three open positions.
No one has filed yet for the three positions in the Kelso C-7 District in New Hamburg. The terms now filled by Sherri Grojean, Gary Reischman and Fred Higdon are expiring.
In the Gideon 37 School District, one person has filed for one of the three available positions. Devon Buchanan has decided to run for the positions currently held by board members Courtney Boone, Rick Branch and Steve Richardson.
Incumbent Mark Halford has opted to run for re-election to the Risco R-2 school board. Halford's position as well as current members Keenan Carlisle's and Curt Patterson's positions are up for grabs this year. Carlisle and Patterson have not yet decided to run.
Two of the three incumbents have refiled for positions on the Richland R-11 school board. Terry Blair and Loyd Odum have opted to run for re-election and Kevin Evans has not yet declared candidacy.
Due to varying schedules, residents wishing to file for candidacy in the Scott Central and Richland school districts should call in advance to ensure the office is open. For Sikeston residents, Burns' office will be closed Dec. 24 and Dec. 31. Charleston's offices will be closed only Dec. 24-25, 30-31 with hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
All other schools will be closed throughout the holidays and will resume filing Jan. 3.