Newly elected members are eager for change

Alexis Riga, Web Editor & Staff Writer

Denise Hinkle and Carolynn Fisher are the two elected members who have received the opportunity to serve another three-year term on the Board of Education. Each has their own concerns and priorities that they are wanting to face: one of which being community communication.

  “I think the focus needs to be on reconnecting with our community. Stakeholders have made it abundantly clear that this is what they wish,” Carolynn Fisher said.

  “I feel that communication has been a concern within the school and community. If we create an atmosphere where people feel like they are being heard and valued, then we can make great strides toward becoming a better district,” Denise Hinkle said.

  Both members also have specific needs in mind that they believe should be addressed in the district as well – specifically, work needed on district buildings.

  “Financial challenges will always be a part of the responsibility that the BOE and superintendent work on together. We were able to ‘put a plug’ into the serious issue of roofing at North Elementary School. We still have other concerns within the district on building needs. It is of utmost importance to hire great staff too, they are the true heart and hands of the district,” Denise Hinkle said.

  “Going forward, we need to address any other building repair/upkeep issues that would affect the safety of our students. (We also will be) looking at monies provided by the formula and how they will affect our budget, and also changes in the law Every Student Succeeds,” Carolynn Fisher said.

  Results of the election showed Fisher received 1,163 votes with Hinkle behind her at 966 votes. Other candidates were Adam Howe who received 933 and Luke Payne with 810 votes.

  In addition to all the expected changes on the BOE, a new Superintendent has been chosen to lead the district starting next school year: Dr. Shawn Poyser of Linn. Poyser has been a teacher, principal and also superintendent during his career. He has served the Osage County R-II School District in Linn as superintendent for the past three years and also served as principal for thirteen years in the Sparta school district.

  Hinkle and Fisher were sworn in at the April 18 meeting, where the board re-elected Jim Miller as president, Tracey Spry as vice president and MSBA representative and Tim Thomas as secretary.

  “I have every hope and expectation that Dr. Poyser will fit well within the school district and community. With his ‘open door policy’ he will be available to discuss issues or concerns that people may have been desiring to express for some time. All relationships are built through good communication and honesty, and I feel that Dr. Poyser is a man who will provide that connection to our community again,” Denise Hinkle said.

  Fisher also has high hopes for working with Warsaw’s new superintendent.

  “When we met candidates for superintendent, we all expressed the need for community and school district reconnect. We had seven great applicants. This particular candidate, Dr. Shawn Poyser met all our criteria and the criteria presented to the superintendent search through the survey by stakeholders. I am very excited to have the opportunity to work with him to bring positive change to the district, but it takes all of us doing our part,”  Fisher said.