April 1, 2008
Name: Michael Stees
Work History: 22 years as a Safety and Environmental Engineer
Employer: Waterloo Industries, Inc.
Community Involvement: Sedalia-Pettis County Emergency Management Agency
Former Chairperson Pettis County Industrial Safety Council
Assistant Scout Master First United Methodist Church Boy Scout Troop 54
Education: Graduate of Elkhart Central High School in Elkhart, Indiana.
1984 graduate of the University of Evansville, Evansville Indiana.
Degree: Bachelorís degree in Environmental Science Administration.
Sedalia Resident for 14 years
Family: Married 20 years; wife Lisa. Three children; daughter attends Smith-Cotton High School, son attends Sedalia Middle School, son attends Skyline Elementary School. My wife Lisa is a former Account Manager for radio stations WTRC and WNDU.
Why are you seeking a seat on the school board?
I ask for your vote on April 8th , because I understand many of the challenges our students have in their lives. I have three very active children of my own in school and realize the sacrifices families make to help position their children for a better future. I seek to serve on the Sedalia 200 school board to make a positive difference in the lives of our children.
What makes you the best candidate for the position?
I feel my 22 years of safety management and business experience will be beneficial to the school district in many ways. At Waterloo Industries I am responsible for a full range of supervisory activities. I have had a good deal of professional training and I work within the Human Resources Department. I also manage plant security. I develop and monitor the safety budget. I believe in a culture of lean management and continuous improvements.
What are three things you think could be improved in the schools, and how would you improve them?
1.Too few parents and students are familiar with what educatorís call G.L.Eís or curriculum objectives. G.L.Eís are Grade Level Expectations. G.L.Eís have changed dramatically since many parents and district patrons were in school. We now compete in a global society and itís critical that our district better communicate about G.L.Eís from kindergarten through high school to better prepare our students for academic success in college or with technical training. Our district has been working for several years posting the G.L.Eís or curriculum objectives on the school districtís website. We need to promote the idea of parents and students going on-line to familiarize themselves with the curriculum objectives we do have posted that are applicable to their student. Printed copies of curriculum objectives need to be supplied for parents and students with limited computer access. High school students need to be provided with information about G.L.Eís or curriculum objectives with every course they take from day one of class. Additionally, all grade school parents need to be provided with a sample report card that will be used during the school year as classes commence each August. Waiting until the end of 1st quarter and meeting at parent teachers conferences isnít the time to learn about G.L.Eís or curriculum objectives. Many students have fallen behind by this point and it can be difficult for a student to catch up once they start falling behind. Since our district is charged with the task of educating and bringing up MAP scores of students for whom English is their second language we need to consider publishing G.L.Eís or curriculum objectives in a language these students and parents can understand too.
2.Communications need to improve from educators to parents. There is too much disparity when it comes to communications from teacher to teacher, teaching team to teaching team, or school to school. A district Communications Action Plan was recently developed, but we need to implement a provision that requires various building administrators demonstrate continuous improvement when it comes to the communications from their school building and each of the educators within it.
3. We need to step into the information age and require our school district post the approved school board minutes on the district website for all patrons to access. We then need to promote the fact that now there is on line access to school board minutes so patrons can monitor for themselves the workings of our school district and board.
4.These are just several of the things that I would work to improve in our schools. I also have concerns about curriculum, technology, textbooks and supplies and libraries.
What three things is the district doing well, and why?
1.I think we have started to accentuate more of the positives that are happening in our schools. District communications have improved, but we must still build on this.
2.We have a renewed commitment and focus on the maintenance of our schools.
3.We have a lot of dedicated administrators and teachers. We donít have big city turnstile education in Sedalia.
If elected, what would you like to see the board accomplish in the next three years?
1.We will need to pay careful attention to details as the new high school and storm shelter is built. There should be a smooth transition of our student body as we proceed with the realignment of our schools.
2.At least 80% of the Sedalia District 200 students will perform at the ďProficientĒ level or above on the Missouri Assessment Program. By partnering with parents we can get this job done.
3.Add more Advanced Placement, distance learning and dual credit courses for our high school students. Not only do these courses add the rigor for our students, but in the case of Advanced Placement and dual credit courses they also receive college credit for their work.