3 seats open on Southwest board

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

3 incumbents, 2 challengers hope to be elected April 8

Three incumbents and two challengers are hoping to be elected to the three open seats on the Southwest R-5 School Board.

Incumbents in the April 8 election include Pete Rose, Jeremy Bernard and Albert Pendergraft, and challengers are Ruthie Henderson and Terry Burgess.

Rose, who is seeking his third consecutive term, said he is running again because it's important for the district to have the school board.

"I'm running because it's important to the school district and important for the community," he said.

Bernard, who is seeking his third term on the board, said he hopes to continue his work on a board that gets along well.

"I enjoy doing what I do, and we've got a good board," he said. "All seven of us get along well, and things have been going very well for the school."

Henderson, who is running for the board for the first time, said she hopes to be elected so she can be there for the children.

"I want to be there for the kids, I have kids in the school," she said. "Running for the board is something I had the feeling I should do."

Burgess, also seeking his first term on the board, said he is hoping to be elected to move the school forward and to be responsible with taxpayer dollars.

"Any tax-based entity should put the taxpayers in mind, as well as the students," he said. "We shouldn't spend money just to spend it, but to focus on education and move the school forward."

Rose said one of his goals, if he were to be reelected, is to improve security issues.

"We have come a long way in the last six years, but we still have some capital projects we'd like to complete for safety with the students," he said. "These are projects we have not been able to get done yet since our bond issue failed two years ago."

Henderson said education for the students is her biggest goal if elected.

"I want to be there to make sure all the kids get the same education, and we make the school a good school where kids would want to come," she said. "I don't have any type of personal agenda. I just want to make it a good place for the kids."

Burgess, who had one child at the district and two more who will start school soon, said security is a big issue for him, especially the buzzer system at the school's front doors.

"Security is a big concern because once you are buzzed in, you have full access to the school," he said. "The main thing is to spend taxpayer money responsibly and always look for ways to reduce the burden on taxpayers while giving the best education to the children."

Pendergraft, who is seeking his fourth term, did not return multiple messages for comment on this story.

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