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KINGSVILLE — Four candidates are vying for three three-year term seats on the Kingsville School Board of Education.

Julie Stout and Mike Collens seek reelection while Gary Morrison and Todd Brendel seek election.

Stephanie Smith is uncontested for election to an unexpired two-year term.

Todd Brendel

Todd Brendel has lived in Kingsville for 45 years and graduated from the Kingsville School District.

Brendel has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a minor in math and English from the University of Central Missouri. Brendel also has a master’s degree in elementary administration and a master’s degree in high school administration, both from UCM.

Brendel is currently the vice principal at Lone Jack Middle/High School and has been a teacher and administrator for 29 years.

“I want to serve the community I live in and grew up in,” Brendel said. “Education has been a part of my entire adult life and I know I can be a benefit to the Kingsville District and help it continue to improve.”

Brendel has served on the Kingsville School Board of Education for three years.

“Finances are always a top concern and I would make sure monies are being spent wisely and try to find ways for the district to generate additional income through business opportunities and grants,” Brendel said. “The social, emotional and mental health of staff and students is a concern. I would make sure the staff is being taken care of as well as trained to help with the needs of students.”

Brendel is a member of the Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals, the Lone Jack Athletic Booster club and the Lone Jack PTO.

“I love this community,” Brendel said. “I think the current administration and staff is doing a good job and we have good kids. I will always listen to the patrons and vote in their best interest. I would appreciate your vote on June 2 for the Kingsville School Board.”

Mike Collens

Mike Collens has lived in the Kingsville School District for 32 years.

Collens is a graduate of the Kingsville School District and attended the Warrensburg Vocational Program for building trades.

Collens owns a construction company and has worked in construction and excavation for 25 years.

“I am currently a school board member and I have two children attending the district,” Collens said. “I have enjoyed my time on the school board and think that it is important to stay involved with our school and community. I feel like my experience on the board is beneficial in knowing what to expect and how to move forward with issues that may arise within the school year.”

Collens has served on the Board of Education for 10 years.

“One of the biggest needs within our small district is being able to retain quality teachers,” Collens said. “I would like to see a way where we can work towards being more enticing for quality teachers to want to stay within our district. … College, trade school or employment readiness is something that I also believe needs to be at the top of our priority list.”

Collens is a member of the Kingsville Baptist Church.

“Our kids are our future,” Collens said. “It’s important that we do what is best for them now so that they are productive and effective members of society later.”

Gary Morrison

Gary Morrison has lived in the Kingsville School District for nine years and is a graduate from the Crest Ridge High School.

For the last 18 years, Morrison has been a service technician/operator for Public Water Supply District No. 2 of Johnson County.

“I decided to run for a position on the Kingsville School Board because I believe I have the ability to work with fellow board members for the betterment of the education of the students in the Kingsville School District,” Morrison said. “I believe I bring new insight to the board as I have worked within the district for many years and have seen the challenges our families face.”

Morrison has not previously been elected to public office.

“I believe that the biggest needs in the Kingsville School District are to recruit and maintain high-quality faculty and staff so we can continue to provide the best possible educational experience for our students,” Morrison said. “Further, we must continue to maintain and upgrade our facilities all while being fiscally responsible. To accomplish these goals, we must develop both short and long term budgets that will allow the district to continue to operate at its best.”

Morrison volunteers with various equipment and facility maintenance for the athletics program in the Kingsville School District. He also volunteers at the St. Patrick’s Church Fish Fry and the Knights of Columbus Cook Shack.

Morrison is the recorder for the Knights of Columbus Council #6722.

“If elected to the Kingsville School Board, I would work hard to ensure a diverse, high quality education for all students,” Morrison said. “I would work with board members to continue to meet the needs of students as well as staff. I look forward to contributing to the betterment of the school as well as the community.”

Julie Stout

Julie Stout has lived in the Kingsville School District for 36 years. Her three children graduated from Kingsville and six of her grandchildren attend school there.

Stout graduated from Holden High School.

Stout has worked as a machine operator for Holden Embroidery LLC for 30 years.

“By serving as a board member, it allows me to continue serving my community and to help make a difference in the education and lives of our children,” Stout said.

Stout has served on the Kingsville School Board of Education for 18 years, serving as vice president for two years and president for the past six years.

“Teacher retention is always a concern, for I believe with continuity in teachers, administrators and support staff our children’s education can only become stronger,” Stout said. Providing a quality education and staying within the mandated guidelines and regulations is always a concern. We must stay within budget and look for ways to make the budget cover all our needs…. Our main goal is to provide the best education to all our students.”

Stout has previously been a member of the Kingsville PTO and has been an active member of the Kingsville booster club, Kingsville summer recreational program and Kingsville KARES. Stout is also the scorekeeper for the Kingsville athletic department and is a member of the Holden Methodist Church, serving as the financial secretary and the church organist.

“I have enjoyed serving my school district the past several years and would like the opportunity to continue for the next three years,” Stout said. “There are things we are implementing that I would like to see to the finish.”

Stephanie Smith

Stephanie Smith is uncontested for election to an unexpired two-year term.

Staff Writer Sara Lawson can be reached by emailing sara.lawson@dsjnow.com or by calling (660) 747-8123.

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