Audio: Candidates running for Trenton R-9 Board of Education take part in “Meet the Candidates” forum

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Candidates running for the Trenton R-9 Board of Education in the April 4th election participated in a Meet the Candidates Forum in the Trenton High School Performing Arts Center on March 20th.

Five of the six candidates participated. They were incumbents Brandon Gibler and Andy Burress as well as Ronda Lickteig, Robin Chambers, and Joshua Shuler. Incumbent Jason Hostetler was unable to attend. They are running for three open three-year terms.

First, the candidates introduced themselves and shared their platforms.

Joshua Shuler said he was originally from Jamesport, has lived in many places over the years, and moved back to Trenton in 2015. He is active in sports with his children and in school activities.



Shuler added that he also understands the trust required, the importance to ask questions, and to look for the best.

Ronda Lickteig said she has lived in Trenton since 1987 and spent 30 years at the Republican-Times. She covered meetings for different boards, learned about how boards should run, and learned how the public does and does not get to participate.

Lickteig wants to know why teachers are leaving. She commented that Trenton R-9’s pay is not that low compared to other districts.

Lickteig is also concerned about transparency, and she wondered why the district paid former Superintendent Mike Stegman to leave.



Brandon Gibler said he has lived in Trenton his whole life and graduated from Trenton High School in 1996. Two of his four children have graduated from Trenton R-9, and the two others are still in the district. He explained he has a vested interest in the district.

Gibler has been on the school board since 2014 and the vice president since 2017. He explained he has a student-first approach to decisions.



Robin Chambers said she graduated from Galt High School in 2000, and her husband was a 1999 graduate of Trenton. She has two children in the district and noted she had seen the process and how things go.



Chambers added that she also wants to retain teachers.

Andy Burress said his two daughters went to Trenton R-9, but he does not currently have any children in the district.



Papers were distributed with information provided by Jason Hostetler. In the information, he introduced himself by saying he lives west of Trenton and has two daughters in elementary school. He was born and raised in Jamesport, and he has resided in the area most of his life.

Hostetler said his vision or goal is to have the district be the best in the state for staff and students. He explained he will vote to keep the district financially sound and its students competitive in learning.

Hostetler also wrote that the district’s strengths outweigh its weaknesses. He believes one of the district’s strengths is its current administration and staff. Another strength is the support from its stakeholders.

Missouri State Teachers Association Northwest Region Member Service Coordinator Mindy Walker moderated the school board candidate forum on March 20th. The Trenton Teachers Association, Trenton Hy-Vee, and Republican-Times sponsored the event.

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