Early Voting Underway in Piggott School Board Election

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Early voting is now underway for the Piggott School Board run-off election, with the polls set to be open on Tuesday, Oct. 7, at the community center. The run-off is between candidates Chris Roberts and Jennifer Rahn, the top two in the recent three-way race for the seat being vacated by Julie McMillon.

In this year's school board election, held Sept. 16, Roberts garnered 174 votes, Jennifer Rahn received 145 votes and Brent Sanders received 41. Since none of the three was able to poll a simple majority, the run-off was scheduled.

The following are profiles of the two run-off candidates, taken from a questionnaire each completed prior to the regular school board election.

Jennifer Rahn

Jennifer Rahn is one of the two candidates in the run-off election for the open seat on the Piggott School Board.

A resident of Piggott, Rahn and her husband, Joey, have three children including Mason, Madison "Sassy" and Morgan. She is employed as a fifth grade teacher with the Holcomb R-III School District.

In citing her educational background, Rahn noted following her graduation from high school she attended Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. She graduated Cum Laude from SEMO with her Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1998. Then, in 2004 she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Master's Degree of Arts in Education.

Rahn notes her life and work experience will benefit her as a member of the Piggott School Board. "I have 18 years experience in the education system, with the last 16 years as a certified teacher," she notes. "I am the mother of two students in the Piggott School system as well as a 2014 PHS graduate. I have been a volunteer in the community including, but not limited to coaching softball and basketball, as a Boy and Girl Scout leader and football booster."

When asked why she felt she was the best candidate for the job she remarked, "because I can offer a perspective and my experience in education that is not already present on the current board--or among the candidates running. I stand strong in what I believe in, and am 100 percent dedicated to education and our community. I can use my knowledge as an educator and parent to work alongside the current board to continue to make the Piggott School District the best it can be."

"I believe one of the many challenges that the district will face in the next five years is the continually increasing pressure of above-average performances on standardized testing in conjunction with teacher evaluations," she surmised. "I believe this pressure will in-turn affect the population of quality teachers and the integrity of the education system. I can also foresee state and federal funding being affected by this issue."

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts is the other run-off candidate for the open seat on the Piggott School Board.

Roberts, a lifelong Piggott resident, is a 1990 graduate of PHS. He and his wife of 19 years, Dana, have three children--one in college, a second grader and fourth grader at PES.

In reviewing his educational background he notes, "my educational background is simple, I may not be a teacher or a college graduate with a huge degree, but I was educated here by great people--some of who still teacher our children. I was also educated by my parents about right and wrong, as parents we must unite for the future."

Roberts has worked at L.A. Darling for 19 years, and has been active in a variety of efforts. "I was a member of the Little League board for nine years, have been on the Cemetery Association Board for four years and have volunteered my time for many local groups and activities." That involvement included 14 years as a Little League coach and several years as PA announcer for Mohawk football games.

Roberts notes he looks at the school board race as an opportunity, not a job. "It's an opportunity to create a better future for our children and community," he noted. "A job pays, I do this as a volunteer."

In looking ahead to the challenges the district faces he notes, "every day brings a new challenge, we must be prepared to handle and face every issue." He added the community and parents should join together for a closer relationship with teachers and administrators and pointed to closing the achievement gap, need for a new awareness program and substance abuse intervention, updating resources for special education and re-evaluating the transition from sixth to seventh grade.

"Education needs to be in the hands of the community, not the government," he surmised. "I will fight for the students, the parents and the educators."

Clay County Clerk Pat Poole also reminds voters the deadline for registering to vote for the upcoming Nov. 4, General Election is the end of business on Monday, Oct. 6.

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