Two spots open on school board with three candidates running

Cole Schnell
Contributing Writer

Greg Frazier
Contributing Writer

Three individuals are in the running for two spots in the WGHS school board.

Joel Oliver, who served on the board for three years, Steven Loher, serving a total of 6 years on the board, and new candidate Arnold Striker, who was a former deputy superintendent of FOX C-6.

Election day will be April 5 and voters must have been registered before March 9.

Joel Oliver

Oliver said via email, “I am one of only two board members with kids in the district, and I believe that this representation is important. “

School board Oliver
Photo from Cathy Vespereny

Oliver said he feels strongly about needing “to provide continuity of leadership as we go into a time
with many new teachers, two new assistant superintendents and a new superintendent.”

Oliver wants “to continue to support…individualized learning for average students and those that need additional help or challenge.”

“I will continue to find new ways to engage the public in dialogue with the board.” Oliver added.

Oliver said his first term had a learning curve and he still has a lot to bring to the table.

Arnold Stricker

Stricker said via email,”I am running for the school board to offer my professional experience and time to help improve the quality of education for all students in the Webster Groves School District.”

Photo from Cathy Vespereny

Stricker is focusing on three academic points. He said he wants to examine the school district’s spending in relation to academic excellence.

“If elected I will work to…focus efforts to reduce the achievement gap among students,”Stricker said he plans to do this by making academics excellence most important. Lastly, he said, he wants to “rebuild trust between the school district and taxpayers through clear and candid dialogue.”

Stricker added, “I have a passion for strong academics and fiscal responsibility. It is important to challenge all students academically and help provide them the skills to be not only successful at WGHS but later in life.”

Stricker said he will bring experience and insight to the board.

Steve Loher

Loher said via email, “I am the only board member who attended Webster Groves schools. Our daughter is a 2013 WGHS graduate. As a 22-year Shrewsbury resident, I am the only board member that lives outside of the City of Webster Groves, like almost 30 percent of our WGSD students.” Loher graduated WGHS in the class of 1989.

School board Loher
Photo from Cathy Vespereny

Having had a daughter go through Webster Groves High School, Loher has been involved with the diversity in the school.

“I will push for a higher level of diversity in hiring so that our staff more closely mirrors our student population,” Loher said.

Loher said he would also address, “The Achievement Gap between white students and students of color.”

Loher will push for a greater understanding, communication and common ground with the local city government, he said.

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