School Board seeking to fill two spots

Four R-IX residents are running for two open spots on the school board on April 7, as current school board members Mark Newman and Jim Andrews’ terms expire.


Rickie Caswell

Rickie Caswell has lived in Warsaw for over 15 years, she is originally from New York. Caswell is a financial advisor with Edward Jones Investments. Caswell is involved with the Chamber of Commerce, and multiple sporting and fundraising activities for the school.

Caswell is running for the school board because she would like to be part of a positive role in ensuring the educational system provides children with the opportunities and technology for a successful future.

“I would like to improve the school district’s public image and have students and parents take pride in attending the Warsaw R-9 Schools,” said Caswell.

Caswell said that she is able to keep keep personal opinions and emotions out of professional decision making.

“As a parent, businessperson and a taxpayer, I know that I can provide positive input and direction in very difficult economic times,” said Caswell. “The only agenda I have is to provide our students with the best possible programs that we can afford while being fair to the local taxpayers.”


Brandy Fajen

  Brandy Fajen has lived in Warsaw for 15 years, she is originally from Holden. Fajen is the owner of Children’s Palace and does early childhood education. Fajen is currently  president of the Benton County Early Childhood Development Foundation, she is involved in Benton County Foster Parent Support Group, inmate ministry, and she is the former president and current member of the PTC, which she has been a part of for over ten years.

Fajen would like to be on the school board because she has been involved in the district for the past ten years and she believes she can bring a broad perspective and objectivity to the position. If elected, she will be committed to ensuring effective management, and working as a team to accomplish important tasks.

“I would like to see better communication in all areas, establishing and maintaining trust and common goals,” said Fajen. “It is also the duty of the board to ensure that methods of accountability are in place. This is vital in restoring the exceptional reputation that our district once had.”

Fajen believes she would be a good candidate for the school board because she has managed large numbers of people in the business environment and have always been successful.

“One of the reasons for my success has been the ability to work well as a member of a team to accomplish important tasks,” said Fajen. “I will come to this job with an open mind, willing and eager to devote the time and energy that it takes to be an effective board member.”

Fajen also has years of experience developing and managing large budgets.

“My decision making will be fair, decisive and fiscally responsible,” said Fajen. “I want Warsaw R-9 to become an academic powerhouse.”



Robert Chapman

Robert Chapman has lived in Warsaw for 17 years. He grew up on a farm by Pierce City. Chapman is a physical therapist and has owned Sun Lakes Physical Therapy for 24 years. Chapman is a member of St. Annes Catholic Church, a member of board for community life centers of Missouri, and a member of the Warsaw chamber of commerce. Chapman has four kids attending school in the district and, therefore, is very active in supporting all of their activities.

Chapman is running for a spot on the school board because he believes it is important to volunteer and be active in assisting the children, school and be an active listener for the community. He wants to work with school administration to find the best solutions.

“I would like to see the academic standards raised in our school with the support of our community,” said Chapman.

Chapman believes that strong schools have the buy-in of their community and the school administration does a good job of communicating with the public about setting the mission and goals to provide a quality education.

“I would like to see good budgeting and management to upgrade the school and provide the teachers and the students the most suitable environment and supplies to achieve the goal of a quality education,” said Chapman.

“I would like to see honor and respect in our school,” said Chapman. “The appropriate boundaries set with policies and procedures that are enforced by both the school and parents to ensure that students are safe and not exposed to drugs, alcohol, bullying or other situations that harm the potential success of our kids.”

Chapman says he is a positive, forward thinker and he has a passion for helping kids succeed. Chapman has experience with conflict resolution and he is accustomed to making tough executive decisions.

“I have four children in the Warsaw Schools, one at each level of high school, middle school, elementary school and preschool,” said Chapman. “I will be able to empathize with any parent’s concern because I will have a child in the same level of school and will have insight to what they are concerned about.”


Justin Almond

Justin Almond has lived in Warsaw for 5 years, he is originally from California, Missouri. Almond is the pastor of youth and education at First Baptist Church. Almond is on the Jubilee Days committee and serves as a volunteer.

Almond is running for a position on the school board because he cares for the future of students and he realizes that each one has a passion for their life, and in order to achieve their goals, education is vital.

“I have spent over ten years teaching and learning along with students,” said Almond “I even like to stay in contact after high school to see where they are at in life.”

Almond believes he would be a good choice for the school board because he has spent the last ten years making curriculum, as well as teaching it. Almond has plenty of experience in the education field. Regardless of whether his experience is religiously-affiliated, he believes that, due to his experience, he would know what is best for the students in any situation. In Almond’s job, he also has a lot of experience planning and executing activities for students.

  “I support public school, I have a daughter in public school,” said Almond. “As a parent, I feel I can make the best decisions in the interest of the students.”