Purdy School Board Questionnaire: Russ Neill

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Publisher’s note: The following Q&A represents the candidate's views verbatim, as submitted via email in response to our questions, and has not been edited. The election will be held April 4, with voters allowed to select three of the five candidates. The top three vote-getters will be elected. - JB

Age: 52

Current Occupation: I am the Pastor of the First Free Will Baptist Church of Purdy. I am also the Farm Loan Manager for the local Farm Service Agency, serving Barry, Lawrence, Newton and McDonald counties.

Past Experience: I am a current member of the Purdy Board of Education

Education: 1982 Purdy graduate, 1986 graduate from MSU with a BS in Agricultural Business

1. Why do you want to win this position?

There are some important projects the Purdy School District is currently working on. I have been involved with them from their inception and would like to see them through to completion.

2. If elected, what is your number one goal on the school board?

My number one goal would be to continue improvement in core classes; which involves the retention and hiring of quality individuals, (certified, non-certified, administrative, and support personnel), while maintaining School Policy that not only fosters the education of our students, but also reflects the Christian values that our patrons deserve and expect.

3. What areas of the school district do you think need improvement?

Even though Purdy is a great place and a great school, we have the responsibility of continual improvement. Assuring, as best we can, that our students are prepared for state-required testing is a challenging priority since the testing procedures and the tests themselves are always changing. Giving every student the opportunity to learn while instilling the value and importance of self-responsibility is important to me.

4. Should the next big project focus on facility construction or technology?

Moving forward, I believe we must focus on both facility improvement and technology. At present, we have a FEMA Shelter and Performing Arts building along with a preschool construction project that the patrons have approved. While these projects are exciting and important, along with them, we must maintain, and even expand the technology that has been put into place over the past few years.

5. Would you like the district to look at a 4-day school week?

I would be cautious about going to a 4-day school week. There are several areas of impact, both positive and negative which must be considered. It would be wise to communicate with area schools that have recently chosen to go to a 4-day school week to see how it works for them in the real world for a few years. We can and then evaluate how this option might, or might not, be a good fit for the Purdy School District.

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