Get to know Steven Burns, candidate for Marceline R-5 school board.

Biography:  My name is Steven Burns and I have lived in Marceline since 1996 and in Linn County since 1992. My family roots are New Boston where my Mother was born. I served in the Military for 22 years and retired from the U.S. Navy in 1990. I retired last year from the U.S. Postal Service after 17 years, of which 5 were in Marceline as a clerk and served as the Postmaster of Purdin for 12 years. I have been married to my wife Candace for 40 years, and we attend Bethany Baptist Church. I am active in the American Legion, VFW and the Masonic Lodge. I have been active in youth sports and community events since 1996. I have been a volunteer at the Marceline School District since 1996. I have been honored to serve my Country in many places and now seek to serve my community.
First Issue: My issue of importance is the Marceline Early Learning Center(Kinderland). I would like to see it grow beyond its current 50% capacity. Our children need this center to be prepared to enter Kindergarten as the first few years of school set the foundation for their future. We need to seek out resources to facilitate this effort
I believe that a school board must be responsive and receptive to parents, staff, students and the community at large, encouraging an open dialogue. The Board must take input from all groups and weigh all the facts before making a decision. A Board member is a trustee of the community that elects him or her. That Trustee must be accessible and willing to collaborate with all members of the community; that includes all District staff. Anyone that comes before the Board has the right to be heard and not just to speak. A school board member must build public understanding, support and participation.
My efforts as a board member would center on serving all of the children in the community; one child is no more important than another. We are a diverse community and have to celebrate that diversity. Our schools are here to serve the educational needs of all the children. All stakeholders: parents, citizens, all District personnel certificated, support, and management, as well as students, must be partners in this endeavor if we are to be successful.
Second Issue:  A key issue for school boards is to create a long-term vision, mapping a course that provides the necessary opportunities students need to reach their full potential. The board is responsible for establishing and maintaining a structure that supports this vision, empowers the staff, and provides leadership. With my background and knowledge, I can help to provide the necessary leadership to keep the district on an even keel. I strongly believe that we have tremendous teachers and staff working with our children. Education takes place in the classroom and the Board’s efforts must focus on enhancing and enriching what goes on there.
We need to have a plan in place that will attract and retain the best and the brightest to the Marceline School District. Every community in Missouri is competing for the same pool of available teachers and the shortage of qualified teachers grows daily.
By working together we can all share in the knowledge and satisfaction that we have provided for the educational needs of all children, and have built a district where students, parents, teachers, and staff feel they are welcome and that they belong. I ask for your support.