A current school board member and two political newcomers are vying for two seats on the Lonedell R-XIV School Board in the Tuesday, April 2, election.
The candidates are incumbent Daniel Short, James Heideman and Jamie Dunn. Board member Scott Schneider is not running for re-election.
The Missourian met with each candidate to discuss why they are running, and their thoughts on the wastewater treatment project and use of off-duty police officer on campus.
In July, the district partnered with a consulting firm that recruits, trains and schedules off-duty police officers. Since the fall, one off-duty officer has been on campus.
This past February, the board approved a new wastewater system that will be designed by Cochran Engineering.
The candidates are listed in the order in which they filed.
Short, 36, lives at 2378 Elmwood Church Road in Lonedell. He is a St. Clair High School graduate and works for Ameren Missouri.
Short is married with children who currently attend Lonedell School. He has been on the school board for 10 years.
Short said he’s running because of his children and he feels his experience is valuable.
“I just want to do my part and serve the community,” he said. “Not very many people want to run for the school board, so I’m just stepping up.”
Short said he has heard positive comments regarding the added security.
“I think it’s going really well,” he said. “I think everybody has peace of mind with him up there — teachers and parents included. I think it was a good decision.
“It’s something that needed to be addressed, so we are doing that,” he added.
Heideman, 37, lives at 6318 Oak Grove Road in Lonedell. He is a St. Clair High School graduate and works for Kloos Drywall.
He is married with two children who attend Lonedell.
Heideman said he is running for school board to be a voice in the community.
“I just basically want to be a part of the community,” he said. “I feel like I’m pretty well known in the community. I try to steer things in the right direction and plan to make the best choices I can for the kids.”
When asked about the wastewater treatment project, Heideman said he would like to learn more about it. He said having an off-duty officer on campus has been a good addition.
“The more security for the kids the better in my opinion,” he said. “I’m sure it made the teachers and kids feel safer — even the parents dropping the kids off. Just seeing that authority there onsite I’m sure put a little bit of ease to everybody’s thoughts.”
Dunn, 36, lives at 564 Brent Lane in Lonedell.
Originally from Hillsboro, Dunn is married with two children who attend Lonedell School. She and her family moved to Lonedell two years ago.
She has been working part time as a paramedic for St. Clair Ambulance District for the past 10 years. She works full time for Air Evac Lifeteam based in Salem.
Dunn is currently getting her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Excelsior College online.
She’s running for school board because she fell in love with the district.
“The teachers are fantastic, the students are fantastic, so I thought with there being an open position, maybe I could be helpful,” she said.
Dunn said she has always been involved in her children’s school and her community “from working on auction committees to raise money for a program to coaching fifth- and sixth-grade girls volleyball teams.”
She added that she is hardworking and has served the area for years by working with the ambulance district.
“I know the dedication that is required to commit your life to public service, not just myself but my husband as well,” she said. “It’s a way of life in our household and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Having an off-duty police officer on campus, Dunn said adds an extra level of comfort and security for teachers and students.
“The kids all seem to love having the different officers around all of the time,” she said.
Regarding the wastewater treatment, she’s glad that the lagoon is being addressed.
“I know that aside from it being an eyesore, it presents some safety concerns,” Dunn said.