By Christy Porter, Managing Editor
Qualified voters will be asked to elect two, three-year term board members for Licking R-VIII School District on the Municipal Election ballot on Tuesday, April 5.
The newly elected board members will start the new term on April 11.
Those running to serve include one incumbent, Roy Kinder; and five candidates, Jake Floyd, John Huff, Heidi Moloney, Joseph Satterfield and Ashli Todaro.
Board member Jason Derrickson has served on the board for 12 years and is not running for re-election.
“Remember that God is good and prayer is necessary in all decisions. Support the kids, administrators and staff so they will be successful. It is a humbling experience to serve as a school board member,” shared Derrickson.
Election for the seven board member positions rotates to ensure that there is experience present on the board at all times. The main requirements for the board are ensuring that the superintendent is following policy, and maintaining a balanced budget. All new board members complete 18-hours of training with the Missouri School Board Association and must complete the state requirement of child abuse training each year they serve.
The responsibility and the decisions made by the school board affect the well-being of the students, their parents, school personnel and the community, now and into the future.
The Licking News met with the one incumbent and the five candidates to share their qualifications and goals.
We introduce incumbent Roy Kinder.
Incumbent Roy Kinder has served on the Licking R-VIII School Board for 18-years, as a member, vice president and currently president.
He is a 1992 Licking High School alumnus and has been with United Parcel Service for 30-years and co-owner of Parts City Auto Sales for 11-years.
He and his wife, Carrie, a 1995 alumna, have four children; three have graduated from Licking; the youngest is a Licking Elementary student. Kinder is also a deacon, youth leader and manages the children’s church ministry at Rock Springs Baptist Church.
Kinder shared some of the accomplishments the board has achieved during his tenure: an elementary music teacher and teaching methods coaches have been added; grades 3 – 12 all have computers and K-2 have computer carts; a behavior and medical clinic is now on campus; the science building has been paid off; the FEMA building has been built; properties housing “Life Skills” and the “Bridges” program were purchased and renovated; the gym building now has air conditioning so more events can be comfortably held there; positions within personnel and curriculum have been adjusted to benefit the majority of the students. Kinder feels blessed to have served with a stable administration and school board.
“I feel that every decision the board makes is made with the children as a priority, prayerfully using the information available at the time,” Kinder says. “Experience and time have proven the correctness of the majority of decisions.”
Kinder also shared the challenges, which include budgeting the financial aspects of a district with 74- to 75-cents of each dollar going toward employees and their benefits (and still not achieving the pay levels desired), and using the remaining 25- to 26-cents toward transportation, building, educational materials and food necessities. Another challenge is ensuring that protocol is followed when an issue is presented. Initially resolution is attempted and hopefully attained through the administration, and then if necessary it is presented to the school board.
“A challenge with the educational system now that was not present 30-40 years ago is that schools now have to educate, parent and provide necessities for some of their students. Some staff are providing all the services necessary for some students to survive and succeed. I am very proud of the staff for going above and beyond,” said Kinder.
“My highest priority are the kids, followed closely by balancing the employees’ needed raises and the needed building improvements,” stated Kinder. “Contributing my work ethic and years of experience, I want Licking R-VIII to be one of the top schools in the area.”
He shared that his favorite subjects in school were math, “With numbers, there’s no perception, just reality,” and VoAg, “I grew up on a farm and I enjoyed the advancement through the four divisions to state farmer level.”
Meet the candidates as they are introduced in alphabetical order.
Jake Floyd is a 2004 Licking High School alumnus, who furthered his education at Northwest Lineman College.
He is the husband of wife Amanda, an educator, and father of three daughters, eighth grade, fourth grade and first grade students. His participation with the youth of the community continues by coaching one of the teams in the Licking Little League, helping to maintain the field, and assisting in the coordination of practices and games.
Floyd has been a lineman for 15 years at Intercounty Electric Cooperative.
Believing that as a board member the focus cannot be singular but must be district wide, he desires “to be a voice and a representative for our community and the school district in making educational and administrative decisions. I’ll be a new and fresh voice for parents and the staff of Licking R-8 Schools. I will listen to all sides and make decisions that will improve the education and learning environment for our children. I will speak up and be active in and out of meetings,” he stated.
The strengths that he brings to the board include his work-related involvement with the community that have helped him succeed in his job as a lineman. His position at Intercounty Electric also entails educating youth and the community within his service area through workshops and educational programs. This would assist him to be an advocate for promoting the possibility of alternative education and trade schools when in the best interest of the student. “The worst thing for anyone, at any age, is to be confused and not ask the question. Ask the questions,” said Floyd.
“My job requires dedication and drive, communication skills, decision-making, and completing jobs. The same could be said about being on the school board. I have successfully completed an education and training, have developed patience and am adept at resolving situations – the same things we wish for our children to attain. I’m strong-minded but I’m also able to be reasonable and see points from all sides of any situation. I will bring new eyes, ears, and a voice for our community,” shared Floyd.
When asked what would be his personal highest priority serving on the board, Floyd’s reply was, “Student learning and achievements in all areas; it’s a personal vested interest. I am a part of the community and wish for all communication between the school board, school, community and the public to be positive and productive.”
Floyd’s favorite subject in school was math and advanced math because it “pushed me to learn.”
John Huff was born and raised in Licking, Mo., and is a 2003 Licking High School alumnus. After high school he attended the St. Louis College of Pharmacy where he earned a Doctorate in Pharmacy Practice.
He currently practices pharmacy at Walmart Pharmacy in Houston, where he is the Pharmacy Manager.
Huff knows the benefits and challenges of balancing an academic and sports career successfully in the school setting, as both have their merits. While in high school he competed on the baseball team where they qualified for the Final 4 in 2003. He also competed as a member of academic teams, was President of REFUSE, Science Club and was a member of the Licking NHS. He is in favor of possible adjustments and policy changes, if necessary, that support the students and the teachers in decision making that make a well-rounded education feasible for all students. He is pro student, pro teacher and pro parent.
“I am running for school board because I have two children, Parker, sixth grade and Penelope, fifth grade, currently attending Licking Schools, and would like to make a positive impact on the school system that not only gave me a solid start in life but will also be responsible for giving my children the same start,” shared Huff. He knows the value of the school board, as his grandfather, Sterling, and his father, Scott, both served on the Licking R-VIII School Board.
Further expanding on the dual aspects of educational balance, he says, “I feel like I can bring a unique perspective of balance to the demands on the time of a student trying to excel in both academics and athletics.”
He acknowledges the difference in aptitude of some students, saying, “After seeing the demands that higher education puts on a student after high school, I think I can help balance opportunities for students who need more challenge academically with opportunities for students who choose not to pursue college after graduation. I think I have an ability to work well with other people; I can look at both sides of a discussion and understand where someone is coming from, even if it’s not what I originally thought.”
While serving on the board, his personal highest priority would be to help Licking Schools support educators and students to achieve the best outcomes possible for both students and teachers.
Huff’s favorite subject in school was Biology, commenting, “The teacher tended to engage the students, encourage their interest and performance and help them achieve academically.”
Heidi Moloney is a 1994 Licking High School alumna. Her husband, Matt, a life long resident of Licking, is a 1992 LHS alumnus. Moloney is a mother of four and grandmother of three. Three of her children are also LHS graduates, and daughter Riley is a sophomore at LHS. Her other two daughters both reside in Licking; Alissa is a stay-at-home mother of three, married to Dylan Vestal, and Madeline is employed at Missouri S&T. Her son, Seth, currently resides in Alaska and is serving in the United States Army as a Combat Medic.
Moloney moved to Licking while in the first grade and, except for a short duration as a child, has resided here.
She began employment with Rawlings Sporting Goods in Licking and is the last Licking employee to retain her employment with the company. Moloney has been with the company for 26 years and is an IT Configurator Specialist; she helped set up their initial technology-based ordering system and continues to maintain the aspects of that system.
With Moloney’s candidacy for the school board, she expresses her wish to become more involved and be more hands-on with the school system. She wants to give back to the community now that there is more time for that involvement. Moloney seeks to work collectively with the board, with an open mind.
“We need to listen more to the people who are in our schools, encouraging our children’s passion of learning, and the families who are impacted by the school’s decisions. I want to help provide an environment that maximizes learning for all staff and students. Be a voice – a go-to person for the entire community in school related issues, representing the community, students and parents. We need to provide our kids with the best education we can possibly provide and the skills, getting them ready for life after high school; if not we are failing,” said Moloney.
Moloney’s favorite school subject was history.
Joseph Satterfield calls Licking home. Prior to moving to the Montauk area, he attended kindergarten and a partial year of first grade in Licking. He is a 1997 Salem R80 High School alumnus.
Satterfield returned to Licking after graduation to care for his grandmother, Cledis, and was employed at Rawlings Sporting Goods.
He began employment in 2001 at South Central Correctional Center, a career that has spanned 21-years. “I took a job and made it a career,” he says, going on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice through Southwest Baptist University in 2010. He currently is a Case Manager II in charge of the Restorative Justice Program at SCCC.
“The program gives the offenders an avenue to help those in need in our community and it allows me to be a liaison between the offenders who work in the program and the community,” he shared.
Satterfield also enjoys many hobbies. During his work with the Restorative Justice Program, he realized the importance of knowing how to do the handcrafting skills that he supervises. His career has also emphasized the importance of learning life skills. Other interests include music; he plays the mandolin and is learning to play the banjo.
When asked why he wishes to serve on the school board he responded, “As a dad of four, two of which currently attend Licking R-8, I wish to continue making the school a better and safer place for our children to learn. Furthermore, I wish to connect with the teachers to evaluate how the board could enhance their careers. Teacher longevity is, in my opinion, a key to healthy schools and healthy communities.
“At first, I would be listening and observing. There is no need to fix what may not be broken. I want to be positively productive.
“I am a patient person with good listening skills. I do my best to think issues through before coming to a conclusion. I am currently very involved in my church, Licking Assembly of God, where I have served as a board member for over three years. I bring this experience with me. It is not about me, but the next generation.”
Satterfield’s initial priority would be to simply uphold the excellent health and integrity of our local school while bringing his fresh and unique perspective to the table.
His favorite subject in school was FFA. He learned life skills as he moved through the degrees, and enjoyed the competitions. Animal science and horticulture stood out, and he continued to use his horticulture knowledge in landscaping after graduation.
Ashli Todaro is a 1999 Licking High School alumna. She has a Masters Degree in Education – Special Education from Drury University and Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from Arkansas State University. Todaro has worked since 2014 as a Special Education Teacher in the Rolla, Licking and Houston Public Schools, and as a Process Coordinator in Licking. Prior to that she had a 10-year banking career as an assistant vice president, in management and as a retail officer.
She and her husband own a small business in the community. They have a daughter in the fourth grade and a daughter who will also attend Licking Elementary when she starts kindergarten. She also coaches her daughter’s club volleyball team for Licking.
Todaro is running for a position on the school board because she cares about the districts’ students and staff, emphasizing, “This is a way for me to serve my community. I believe I am able to serve the district as an ethical, compassionate, accountable and fair board member. I will also be an advocate for each and every child in our district. I want our parents to feel confident that our district is providing the best education and opportunities for their children. I believe that board members should be accessible and approachable.” She continued by sharing that community involvement needs to be restored, learning and aptitude methods and programs, life skills and occupational life skills need to be evaluated, and there needs to be accountability at all levels.
“The main credential I can bring to the board is my knowledge in the areas of teaching and educational administration, due to my degrees and experience. I have a strong comprehension of the school atmosphere and its dynamics,” says Todaro. Her background in financials and management, as well as her experience and willingness to assist in researching, accessing and receiving grants would be an asset.
“The students will be my personal highest priority, their security and safety, and ensuring they are receiving the best education possible, because it is what they deserve to be successful. Also, the support of the staff and administrators within the district is important, as they are the main resource for the education of our children. Special education is another area, often overlooked, that will be a priority. I want to ensure all of our students, despite their learning abilities, are given the best education possible,” Todaro said.
Todaro’s favorite subject in school was science. “My teacher was knowledgeable and while it was not my best subject, the teacher made it interesting. He made the class real and pertinent; even the field trips had a purpose in our education,” she said.