New faces run for Cassville School Board
4 candidates seeking 2 seats on board in April
Four candidates are seeking two open seats on the Cassville School Board, meaning the top two vote-getters on April 5 will take the positions.
Chad Yarnall, Doyne Damon Brown, Jeremy Marple and Gamon Sparkman, all of whom are running for an elected position for the first time, are aiming for seats being vacated by Hal Smith and Greg Allen, who each chose to not seek reelection.
Yarnall said the community has always been good to him and his family, and serving on the school board would be a way for him to give back.
"I have a son who is a junior and daughters in seventh grade, first grade and kindergarten," he said. "I don't know what I'd like to see change because I'm not on the board. I just want to get on there and ask 'why' when certain questions come up.
"I want to make sure the school district is taken care of in the best way, and I want to give the children the best opportunities for education and growth."
Doyne Damon Brown said he filed because of his history with the district, as his parents are graduates from Cassville, as well as him, his brother and his sister. He stressed being on the board requires a team effort to get things done.
"One person will not come on and change anything," he said. "There are seven people on that board, and we all have to make suggestions and just be open."
Brown said he did not know of any particular thing he would like to see change, but suggested the district may look into ways to block student cell phone usage in class.
"One thing that seems to be an issue with the teachers and staff is some other schools have cell phone blockers to keep the kids more focused and give the teachers more control," he said. "But, I don't know what the cost of something like that would be. We've just got to enable teachers to be at their best for the kids to be at their best."
Marple, who moved to Cassville in 1980, is the son of a former Cassville High School principal, and his mother started the Parents as Teachers program. He also has two daughters who attend school at the district.
"I attended school here and just want to give back my time to the school and the community," he said. "Time is valuable, and doing this would be a way to give back to a school that has done so much for me and my family."
Marple said if elected, he looks forward to learning the day-to-day policies and how things operate.
"I hope I can bring some motivation to the board and just do all I can to make the kids and teachers be the best they can be.
"I don't really have an agenda, but there's always things that can be improved. Getting things done is a group effort, and through my collegiate athletics, I understand the importance of teamwork and being able to work together to take care of issues as they arise."
Sparkman is a Cassville native who attended the district from kindergarten through graduation. He also now has two children attending school at Cassville, and his wife is a teacher at the intermediate school.
I've been a member of the community my entire life and have close ties to education," he said. "My mother was a teacher, and my wife and many family member have taught at Cassville.
"I'm proud of the district and felt running for school board is something I can do to support the schools and the community."
Sparkman said he had no set agenda, but aims to help the district improve.
"My big goal is to help make Cassville the best it can be and one of the best in southwest Missouri," he said.
Voters will make their decisions on the two new school board members on Tuesday. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.