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Meet the Four Candidates Running for Rockwood School Board

The two incumbents on the Rockwood School Board are facing two challengers, and the Rockwood School District has provided brief profiles on all four candidates for the April 2 election.

The following information was provided by the Rockwood School District and is available on the district's website. The district also will host a candidate forum on March 5. 

Jeffrey R. Morrell

Personal Information: I graduated from U.C.L.A. with a bachelor’s degree in 1989.  I recently retired from Enterprise Holdings in Clayton, Mo. after serving for 23 years.  While at Enterprise Holdings, I held positions ranging from Branch and Regional operations in several markets to Corporate Vice President in St. Louis for the past 12 years.  

Personal Statement: I’ve enjoyed raising two children in St. Louis and value the quality education they’ve received and are currently receiving from Rockwood Schools.  I believe it is time for the School Board to begin the serious business of solving the unsustainable budget shortfalls so that the bright students of the next decade may benefit from the same quality education available to our children.  What’s required is a laser focus on fiscal responsibility so that we may continue to provide a quality education for our children provided by top-notch highly motivated teachers.    

Loralee Mondl

Personal Information: Our family has lived in Rockwood for the past seven years, with our sons attending Rockwood Schools.  I have Bachelor degrees in Chemistry, Math and Education from UMSL in addition to a Master’s degree in Education from Lindenwood University. 
 
Experience: I was a teacher and coach at Marquette High School for five years.  For the past 11 years, I have been raising our children, while being active as PTO Treasurer and Co-President.  I have served on several district committees including the Curriculum Advisory Council and the Guidance Advisory Council, in addition to being on the Facilitating Team for Picture Rockwood.  Most importantly though, I have lived my passion as a classroom volunteer by helping the kids in our district.

Personal Statement: I have been a proud part of this district for many years as a teacher, parent, and volunteer and feel a personal responsibility to be involved in the Rockwood community.  I am deeply inspired by the children I have worked with and am forever grateful to the teachers that continue to mold each child every day.  I am driven by an obligation to be the voice of the community as a representative on the Rockwood School District Board of Education.

Stephen (Steve) Banton

Personal Information:

  • My wife, Linda and I have lived in Rockwood since 1996.  Our children KateLynne and Stephen II attend Rockwood schools
  • Served on faculties of Washington and Saint Louis Universities
  • Eagle Scout and volunteer, Boy Scouts of America
  • Partner with Quinn and Banton Law Firm
  • Member, West County Community Church

Experience:

  • Board member for 15 years
  • Former Board President
  • Served on committees including:  Facilities, Operations, Steering and others
  • Served on Rockwood Schools Foundation Board of Directors
  • Former Member, Governing Council of Special School District
  • Member, Missouri School Boards’ Association Board of Directors

Personal Statement: It has been my pleasure to serve you for 15 years along with the other wonderful parents, staff, teachers, administrators and patrons of Rockwood. Together we have improved student achievement – all four of our high schools now rank in the top eight in the state in advanced placement.

Together we continue to use wisely tax revenue.  In a recent study done by the Center for American Progress of all Missouri’s 523 school districts, Rockwood was rated first for student achievement per dollar in all categories.

It is my concern that we continue to build on our successes and improve our district so that all children can realize their potential.

Janet Strate

Personal Information: I am married to Matt Strate and we have three sons who all attend Rockwood schools.  I have a bachelor’s degree from Mizzou and a master’s of business administration with a finance emphasis from Webster University.  I am a Certified Public Accountant (C.P.A.) and I worked for 20 years in the banking industry.

Experience: I have served on the Rockwood Board of Education since 2004, as well as the Governing Council of the Special School District.  I was a member of the Curriculum and Instruction Committee, Curriculum Advisory Committee, and I served as Committee Chair for Point Rockwood in 2003-2004.

Personal Statement: I have proudly volunteered as a member of the Rockwood Board of Education for the past nine years due to my commitment to the children of our school district and the taxpayers that support our committment of fiscal responsibility.  It is my belief that by providing a good, solid education – for children of all abilities – will make our community stronger.  My background as a fiscal conservative has been very helpful in managing the complex challenges of budget shortfalls and increasing enrollment. Students are at the center of our work and our decisions.

Martha White January 30, 2013 at 02:58 PM
With the practices of the School Board having been what they are for several years, I think a whole new change is needed in leadership!!! No more "good old boy" awards, administrative cream, and disregard for community input!
Eileen Tyrrell January 30, 2013 at 09:16 PM
Martha: You are expressing a common sentiment in the community. Based on your comments it looks like you will be voting for Mr. Morrell and Mrs. Mondl

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