Patch sent all local candidates for office identical questionnaires in order to compile candidate profiles prior to the April election. Each candidate who returned the survey will be featured on the site.
Pete Nicholas, 63 (Candidate for the Fox School Board)
- Address: 4218 Missouri Pacific Rd. Arnold, MO
- Occupation: Retired IBEW Electrician
- Missouri School Board Association – Certified Board Member Master’s Degree
- University of Missouri – Columbia – Teachers Certificate
- Family: 3 children and 8 grandchildren, Samantha and Nicholas Snyder - Rockport; Gabby Nicholas – Seckman Middle School; Claire and Maura Nicholas – Simpson; Carter and Owen Zinn – Festus Elementary; and Mason Zinn – New Hope Preschool.
- Years lived in the Fox School District: 39 years.
- Please provide a brief summary of your background, highlighting community involvement if applicable. I have served as a member of the Fox C-6 School Board for the past 15 years with a Certified Board Member Master’s Degree. I served in the Vietnam War, and was on the committee for Veteran’s Park and the Veteran’s Traveling Wall. I’m an Eagle Scout and member of the Eagle Scout Examination Committee. I worked as a vocational education teacher and have 35 years of service in the IBEW. I am currently on the Rock Community Fire Board and serving as president. Married for 43 years, and a father of 3 and grandfather of 8.
- Please provide a brief summary of your reasons for running: I want to continue to serve the community to ensure that we take care of our most precious resource, our children. Our children are only 30% of the population, but are 100% of our future!
1. What do you currently see as the biggest issue facing the Fox School District? The highest priority in today’s schools is to provide security for our most precious resource, our children. Security should be in the capable hands of trained professionals. We need to integrate programs that make sense and are effective. We do not want to maintain the status quo or become complacent. We must invest all we can to ensure the safety of our students and staff.
2. How would you address the continuing uncertainty over state funding for schools? The budget from the State of Missouri to fund education is one of the biggest issues facing many school districts. The foundation formula has not been funded for the last few years, which means that our school district is not getting the money from the state. We need to address this by lobbying our local representatives to fully fund the foundation formula. To stop unfunded mandates and local TIFs.
3. In what area does the Fox School District need to improve? Are you satisfied with the way the district has been operating?
- Maintenance of current buildings
- Expansion with new buildings to ensure every child has a place to learn.
- There is a never-ending need to improve the district.
4. Assume you win the election. What single thing do you want to accomplish during your three years on the board? One priority is to increase technology in the classrooms. More state tests are being directed to be taken on computers. While I am very grateful the bond issue passed and we are purchasing millions of dollars’ worth of technology, this is a very challenging task to accomplish. Land was purchased to build the much needed Antonia Middle School. The land that was purchased has the capability to encompass a new Elementary and High School. This area of the district continues to grow and these schools are needed to ensure that there is sufficient space for all students.
5. There has been some opposition regarding the hiring of relatives within the district. How do you plan to address this moving forward? The Fox C-6 School District has a fair and strong hiring process. Many of the candidates go through extensive screening and interviews to earn a position. These interviews consist of committees of 3-8 participants. If a person is selected by the committee and supported by the administration, then the best person gets the position. Fox has always hired the best quality candidates, and it shows in the recognitions received from the State for the last 12 years.