School Board Candidate

LaTonya Williams


I have a master’s in business administration with an emphasis in Human Relations Management. I’m currently in school to obtain a doctorate degree in Management with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership.
I attended Pickett Elementary, Truman Middle, then graduated from Central in May 1998. I attended Missouri Western State University (then College), graduating in May 2003 with a BA in English/ Journalism and a BA in English/ Public Relations.
I’m the mother of three daughters, whom we raised in our school district. I’m the executive director of a nonprofit organization in town as well as a photography business.


Our Candidate Summary

Socially Liberal
Fiscal Moderate

These assessments are based on the answers supplied by the candidates as well as their past performance. The candidate’s responses and performance indicate a socially liberal and fiscally moderate position.

LaTonya on the Issues

Why have you decided to run for the Saint Joseph School Board?

Being an advocate for the midtown community, being around the children of midtown day in and out- I had to do all that I can to make their educational experience better than the one I had. When you’re poor, when you’re a minority, when you suffer from a disability, you’re most likely always one of the ones who are left out, the ones who are ‘forgotten.’ Now, imagine being the director of a center full of children and employees who are all a part of those who aren’t considered when the decisions are made. Each one of their faces- they are my motivation.

What are the strengths you will bring to the school board?

Transparency, accountability and the ability to relate to the community we serve.

Do you understand the District's Annual Budget, and what are your plans to get your arms around the details of that budget and evaluate where and how Tax taxpayer dollars are being spent?

Yes, I understand the district’s annual budget. I have experience in my professional life at reading and understanding budgets, so understanding the dynamics of the district as well as the different funds and their roles wasn’t difficult.

Where do you stand on the proposed Bond Renewal of $20 million when the District Administration has no impactful plan to utilize that money to better educate our children? Passing that bond issue would cost the taxpayers 26 cents per $100 of access property value- approximately $3.2 million annually.

The bond is a continuation of the current tax, not a new one. By providing for items like the expansion at Hosea, funds going to fine arts, sidewalks for the safety of our students- this plan is helping to educate our children.

What is your position on general levy Tax increases to increase the school district's annual budget?

I don’t have an opinion on that since I’ve never been a part of a general levy to increase our district’s annual budget, nor have we ever discussed that during my time on the board.

What is your position on the current redistricting proposal?

There currently is no redistricting proposal.

What is your position on the proposal to build one or two new high schools replacing the three older facilities that currently exist?

As much as I would love to keep open all three of our high schools, the issues stand that our town can’t support three high schools and still be fiscally responsible as well as educationally equitable. Simply put, we no longer have enough students to fill the seats, nor the teachers to teach them all if we did. This decision is very tough for me, as I truly believe that for neighborhoods to thrive, a school community is needed. As a child, I missed out on a lot due to not being able to be a part of a close-knit school in my neighborhood, so I know firsthand the impact that has on children. But we can’t allow our emotions and nostalgia to outweigh the needs of our community and our district as a whole, as well as being responsible with taxpayer money.

What is your approach to school safety? What is your position on metal detectors, security guards, and safety training for our teachers and administrators?

Our teachers are there to educate, not to protect and serve. School safety should be left to the professionals of that field.

How do you feel about the current approach to special education within the school district?

Waiting periods for evaluations are too long at times, which can impeded educational progress. The new department restructure should help this issue.

What do you see as the most significant challenges teachers face within the district?

The biggest issue facing the district is a combination of things- such as previous bad experiences that rolled in to lack of trust, which led to poor public perception and poor morale. Add that to just the regular issues school districts face, and we have a mess on our hands. The good thing is that the problems are being handled, one by one. You can’t expect problems that have been allowed to grow and grow over several years, such as the boundaries, to be fixed in a year or two. Things take time, but we’ve been lucky to not only have admin that isn’t afraid to tackle the problems, but to also have board members who are up to the challenges.

What will be your approach to working with the school district administration?

Open, clear communication with mutual respect for all, while respecting protocol and boundaries.

Do you support transgender-inclusive or lgbtq+ policies for schools such as bathroom and locker room inclusion based on someone's preferred gender?

I support policies that protect the safety of all of our students, irregardless of gender, referred or otherwise. That should be our main priority- providing safe environments for all students to learn and grow.

Would you encourage the introduction of materials into the school system based on Critical Race Theory (CRT) and other "woke" ideologies?

CRT is a collegiate topic that was never Intended for elementary or high schools, so my answer would be no. I’m not sure why the word ‘woke’ is in quotations?

What is your position on notifying parents if a child is considering something harmful to their bodies – whether it is gender-related or other? What will you do about the current movement to limit a parent's involvement?

Schools have policies for a reason that are followed to the letter- if my child is in danger, of course I should know about it. I know of no movement to limit parental involvement.

Do you identify as socially/politically liberal or conservative?

Non partisan mother who works hard to serve her community

Public Forum – Wednesday, March 20, 6:30 pm @ Grace Calvary Chapel

Public Forum – Wednesday, March 20, 6:30 pm @ Grace Calvary Chapel

Public Forum – Wednesday, March 20, 6:30 pm @ Grace Calvary Chapel

Public Forum – Wednesday, March 20, 6:30 pm @ Grace Calvary Chapel