School Board Candidate

Mike Moore


I am an engineering manager at Altec. My wife, Kim, and I have lived in St. Joe for almost 20 years. We raised our twins her and they are 2017 graduates of the SJSD. I grew up in Atchison, Kansas and graduated from the public high school there. I received my bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Kansas and held engineering jobs in Oklahoma and Iowa before returning to the area.


Our Candidate Summary

Social Moderate
Fiscal unknown

These assessments are based on the answers or lack of answers supplied by the candidates. The candidate’s responses indicate a socially unknown and fiscally unknown position.

Mike on the Issues

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

I’m running for school board because a high-performing, well-supported school district is vital to the success of our families and our businesses. I have a definition for success for the district that includes 1) More students achieving to their potential 2) Teachers and staff recognizing the district as a great place to work and 3) The community recognizing the district as a positive asset to retain and recruit families to live in St. Joe.

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

30+ years of business experience (team building, budgeting, delivering results) Community involvement (United Way, youth sports, workforce development) Positive leadership (lift up the good, lift up people, put them in a position to succeed)

What can be done to address the poor English proficiency and Math Proficiency scores that are being generated by kids in our school system? English scores reflect that students are only 32% proficient and math scores are coming in at 38% proficient --- both below the state average.

Test scores can be improved by enhancing our early childhood education programs (an effort that is underway) and by removing barriers to students and their families that prevent them from attending school.

Where do you stand on the 4-day/week school schedule proposal?

The current board decided in February to forego a 4-day school week. I attended the meeting and listened to both sides of the debate, each with legitimate points. Ultimately, I believe a five-day school week is better for students and their families. However, the clear message from teachers supporting the 4-day week is that THEY NEED HELP! Dozens of positions are unfilled in the district, and some are filled with underqualified staff. It’s the responsibility of the board and the community to support the district to the point we are viewed as a great place to work and so we can attract the talent we need to make teaching enjoyable.

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?

Much of what I understand about the district’s budget I learned the past few years serving on facilities committees and attending the Vision Forward community input meetings. Key is that 2/3 or more of the budget is around pay and benefits, which is right when we acknowledge that the districts people are our greatest strength. As a board member, I would review the budget monthly and ask questions to learn how dollars are accounted for and where the priorities lie.

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.

I support the passage of the bond renewal. I’ve reviewed the plan for spending the money, support the projects and believe there is little to no risk the money is “wasted” as part of any future facilities changes. Additionally, I understand the passage of this renewal ensures our ability to borrow money in the future as we drive toward facilities that our teachers and students are proud to call home.

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

After hearing the clear message that teachers are in trouble, I absolutely support a levy increase to improve wages for current teachers and those we’d like to attract, so the district is fully staffed. In order for our students to have the best, we need to compete for the best teachers and having some of the lowest pay in the area and in the state is having a huge negative impact on our district. In fact, advocating for our district a primary duty of the board, one I’d like to see us attack with more vigor.

What is your position on the current redistricting proposal?

I support the long-term plan as proposed by Dr. Edgar and his team. This includes two high schools over the next several years. I agreed with the current board which paused any boundary changes until we solidify the plan. That said, many community members have spent years wrestling with issues of equity across town, aging facilities and uneven capacity. The time to act is here.

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

I support the two-school plan. I think we’re too big a town for one school, but the current three-school model doesn’t offer equal opportunities to our students. And while immaculately maintained, we compare poorly to surrounding districts when competing for teachers, families and students. While there is no perfect plan, clearly, we have to move forward in a way that kids all over St. Joe win.

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

More frequent occurrences of violent acts in schools make guards and metal detectors an unfortunate necessity. It’s my hope that they can be used where and when needed and not as a requirement at very door of every building. I support the districts efforts to shore up security of the physical buildings and train the staff to run, hide, fight. Further, new facilities give us the opportunity to incorporate the latest in safety strategies and equipment.

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

I believe the charge of public schools to educate every child regardless of physical ability or ability to pay is among the most noble in our society. While haven’t been involved with the specifics of special education in our district, I look forward to learning about it if elected.

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

Challenges include our inability to fully staff the district negatively impacting enjoyment of work, discipline issues in the classroom and a general feeling of not being supported by our community. I would address these by advocating for better pay, supporting the expansion of alternative school programs and more lifting up the great things teachers and students are doing in the district.

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

I’ve developed a strong working relationship with the current administration through workforce development efforts including the expansion of programs at Hillyard Tech, facilities committees and the Vision Forward meetings. I believe the current administration has done an effective job of building positive relationships with the teachers and with the community, especially the business community in St. Joe. I would love the chance to work more closely with Dr. Edgar and his team.

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

I prefer bathrooms, locker rooms and sports teams be separate based on gender assigned at birth. That said, there are very effective examples of all-gender bathrooms where men and women share hand washing areas, stalls are private with dividers running floor-to-ceiling and private changing rooms are available. The new Kansas City airport is one excellent example.

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

I find it difficult to even define “CRT” and “woke”. I’ll just say I attended a public grade school that, less than a dozen years before I arrived there, was an all-black, segregated school. We learned about slavery and black history, and it added to our understanding of each other. So I believe we need to study history but with a purpose of uniting, not dividing. In this way, we can focus on improving academic achievement and making the district a great place for teachers to work.

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?

As a parent, I would expect the district to inform me that my student is planning something dangerous. I also consider my responsibility as a parent to be close and involved with my child to have open discussions of a critical nature. I would seek to follow the law regarding such things and strike a balance between the rights of the student and the parent.

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