Liberty School Board Election-April 5th

Posted: March 28, 2011 in Education, Liberty Missouri School District
Tags: , , , , , ,

My wife and I attended the Liberty School Board candidate forum over at the Board of Education office last Thursday. Liberty School District patrons will choose three board members next week who will each serve a three year term. I always find school board elections entertaining because often you get candidates that don’t know a thing about the profession of education, but are self-described experts on it, and if elected can really create problems for the professionals inside the district. The good news is that there are some good candidates in this race who I think will do a good job for the district if elected.

I am going to run through all of the candidates and just express my observations. The top three are the three candidates that I will be voting for.

Jim Linderer-Mr. Linderer is the only non-incumbent that I will be voting for in this election. Mr. Linderer ran last year and I was not impressed with his candidacy at that time. He seemed to be passionate, and his heart was in the right place, but he didn’t really have his hands around the position he was running for. This year he strikes me as someone that has done his homework and does seem to grasp what he is getting in to. I was impressed with the fact that he had attended 14 board meetings, it certainly demonstrates a willingness to learn and that he is passionate about being involved. This is a must as an incoming board member.

Mr Linderer serves as Director of Operations & Compliance of Prosperity Network of Advisers, Kansas City’s largest independent financial services firm. I think his experience with corporate budgets will be a huge asset for the board in the budget environment that currently exists inside of our public schools. He seemed hesitant to support a levy increase, with the exception of brick and mortars, but even then he seemed cautious.

You can find more about about Mr. Linderer on his website

Bren Abbott-Mr. Abbott is the existing board president. I suspect Mr. Abbott may be more of a moderate ideologically, but he struck me as someone who is willing to make the right decisions. I have been told that Mr. Abbott has been a good leader behind the scenes and is someone that will support other board members despite a disagreement about the issue at hand. He is an attorney by education and is the managing attorney for the law offices of Abbott, Davidson & Southard.

You may find out more about Mr. Abbott here:

Lori Tritz-I must admit I am a little surprised at the fact that I am voting for Ms. Tritz. I was totally unimpressed with her last year when she ran. My biggest beef was that she struck me as someone that knew nothing about education. Ms. Tritz seems to be someone that has done well on the board. I was impressed with her knowledge of  special education. She has employed her HR skills well for the district. My wife and I participated in one of the forums that she helped organize last year promoting community involvement within the district. I was impressed with her the day we attended the forum and she did well at the candidate forum last week.

More about Ms. Tritz here and on her Facebook page.

Kim-Marie Graham-Nothing wrong with Ms. Graham, and I think she might be a decent board member if elected. She seemed very new to the whole concept of a school board, but readily admitted this. I just think there are better candidates in the race. Ms. Graham’s background is in Human Resources and she has a Master’s in Public Administration.

Ms. Graham does not have a website, but you can look at her Facebook page.

Dan Krueger-Mr. Krueger struck me as a conservative, but as an educator I had some reservations about him. He doesn’t seem like someone who has done their research about the district and public education. He seemed to think there was a lot of places to cut, but I never heard any substance of what he thought we should cut. He also spoke about different funding mechanisms; private sponsorship, endowments, etc. to replace funding or make up shortfalls. Mr. Krueger’s background is in engineering.

You can check out his Facebook page, he has no website.

Tom Saitta-Mr. Saitta really irritated me. He seemed like he subscribed to the philosophy that educators are not professionals and should not be trusted. In his introduction speech he went off on some tangent about social studies curriculum. I never quite understood his complaint. He stated that he was concerned about Social Studies education, which kind of excited me, but he quickly let me down. He said something about how we should not be teaching religion in the history classroom. Now, I agree that we shouldn’t be teaching religion, but the history of religion is the history of the world. That should be a component of world history. He never really got his point across, and I don’t know what his problem with the curriculum exactly. He said something to the effect that the school board is the one that determines the curriculum, while they do approve it, the professionals in the rooms should be involved in the process. I would be happy to educate Mr. Saitta anytime he wants about curriculum creation, but I suspect my BA in Political Science and MA in Teaching will not meet his standards.

  1. Frank says:

    I am a little surprised at your choices. I think they are certainly the right picks if you want the school district to continue down the same path that it has been on for years now. Personally, I’m tired of the wasteful spending and the questionable ethics that we have been dealing with and feel it is time for a new direction.

    I was unable to attend the PTA forum, however I did watch it on tv. I am most disappointed in your unwarranted attack of Mr. Saitta. I am very appreciative of any candidate who is willing to take the time to mount a school board campaign. To put yourself out there like that must be extremely difficult. I don’t know Mr. Saitta but I am guessing he found a cause that he felt very strongly about (curriculum) and saw that little was being done to address his concerns. So he decided to do what he could to at least shine a light on the problem. Whether or not you agree his chosen topic you should be able to see the merit in what he is doing. I don’t remember him cutting down our educators like you make him come across. I don’t know if you have children in the district, but I do. I have seen my kids subjected to some truly awful curriculum over the years. From d’nealian handwriting and not teaching cursive to the serious lack of spelling and vocabulary taught in our schools, our curriculum needs work! And don’t get me started about Everyday Mathematics. And now they are even instituting a new grading system where they reward those who do not turn in work at all, while lowering the grades of top performers. I believe the grading scale is an attempt to marginalize all student. We need to stop trying to invent the wheel and go back to what works. Certainly we have better things to teach our children than Islam. What kind of a slant to YOU think is being put on that? A conservative one? Think again.

    Your other candidate put down is almost even more of a shock. There is only one conservative in the race and you discount him because you don’t know what his specific cut proposals would be? Have you asked him? It certainly wasn’t a question during the forum. I’m willing to bet he has put a lot more forethought into that than you give him credit for. Without question he is the only candidate even talking about taking a really hard look at our finances and trying to get a handle on them. I know I’d rather take my chances on someone who wants to try to cut the waste in the district rather than any of your top three picks who WILL, most certainly, propose new tax increses.

    Finally I have serious ethical concerns over Mrs. Tritz. Her husband’s company financially benefited from decisions made while she was in office. That sends up tons of red flags to me. Call me gun shy but I think we’ve been burned enough recently with unethical individuals on the board or in our administration to take a chance with another.

    • ClayCoMOPolitics says:


      Thanks for your response.

      Your assessment of objective based grading is incorrect. It is an incredibly useful tool in accurately assessing where a student truly is. The traditional A, B, C, D, E, F grading scale will eventually be done away with in most school districts in America.

      Everyday Mathematics is worthless, totally agreed, but Mr. Saitta didn’t talk about Everyday Mathematics.

      The teaching of cursive is useless in today’s world.

      I can’t speak to whether Islam is taught and how exactly you mean that, but your child should understand the history of the religion and any other religion, too. It’s part of the reason so many Americans are naive to what is going on in the middle east right now. Understanding religious history is understanding world history.

  2. Adam says:

    Thanks for posting this, Andrew. Although my list ended up being a little different, your breakdown definitely helped me with deciding on a couple of candidates as I did not get to see the forum. Always appreciate your perspective, particularly the focus on local races.

    This is possibly the only election I can remember where I felt kind of bad about “voting against” the candidates I didn’t vote for. Great to see so many good people wanting to be a part of the Liberty School Board.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s