Mar. 23, 2019
Name: Judith (Judy) Hedrick
Education: Bachelor’s Degree -Business Education, Lincoln University, Jefferson City, MO; Master’s Degree – Secondary School Administration, Lincoln University, Jefferson City, MO; Education Specialist – Administration/Superintendency, University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO; Education Doctorate – Educational Leadership, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO
Years lived in LS: 29 years
Previous elected offices held: None
Why are you running for school board?
I’ve decided to run for school board for several reasons. First, I am a passionate advocate of public education. Secondly, I want to continue supporting and be of service to the students and staff of the district that has provided me so many blessings during my 28-year employment. Lastly, with my knowledge and experience, I believe I can add value to the board of education, collaborate to solve problems, work with integrity, hold myself and others accountable and promote fiscal responsibility for short and long term needs.
What ties, personally or professionally, do you have to the LSR7 School District?
None at this time.
What other volunteer/civic involvement have you had? What have you learned from that experience?
During the time my children attended school in Lee’s Summit, I participated in PTA, booster clubs and coached a number of youth sports. I also completed the Leadership Lee’s Summit program. In my professional work, I was involved in state and national organizations. At the state level, I was a board member and president of the association of school business officials. I’ve learned that collaborating and teamwork provide for a better result.
If elected, what would be your top priority as a board member?
At this time, my top priority is to address school/community concerns through collaborative, inclusive and communicative processes.
In your opinion, what are the strengths and weaknesses of our school district?
The district’s greatest strengths are ALL the staff members, great students and families and a supportive community. Currently, I think the greatest weakness is the lack of trust and transparency.
What do you foresee being the biggest hurdle facing the district in the upcoming years?
Based on a number of areas, including instruction, classroom resources, technology, facility maintenance needs, capital needs, new facilities, staffing, salary & benefits, etc., I think the biggest hurdle facing the district in upcoming years will be funding and prioritizing financial needs.
What are your plans for returning funding to dwindling and lost extracurricular activities?
Based on my experience with the district’s budget, I believe the current funding is acceptable. However, conversations are needed regarding long term activity funding and the potential for elimination of participation fees.
How can the school district better prepare students for careers that don’t require a traditional four-year degree?
The district will need to continue to be responsive to employers in the identification of workplace skills, make associated programmatic changes and continuing working on “future-ready” learning.
How do you view the financial management of the district? Would you do anything to change it?
I’ve spent the past 28 years working in financial services for the district. During that time, the district was audited each year by an external firm resulting in no major areas of concern. In addition, the district completed a state audit in 2013 and given a “good” rating. With that said, I believe financial processes and procedures are dynamic and can always be improved. The district will need to remain using a collaborative budget process and conservative budget planning in order to address the financial needs for the short and long term.
Do you believe that a teacher’s evaluation should be based on student test scores?
What are your ideas for addressing suicide education and awareness at all school levels?
Effective suicide prevention requires comprehensive and combined efforts that work together to address different aspects of the problem. Suicide education and awareness requires numerous programs, policies, practices and services using resources both within and outside of the school district.
What are your thoughts on the community conversations regarding equity and race relations, including the board’s recently adopted LSR7 Equity Plan, and how will you help move the district forward?
The equity plan should be expanded and detailed using researched best practices in order to accomplish the stated goals in a comprehensive and systemic way. Specifically, a broader scope of diversity conversations is needed which includes ethnic, cultural, racial, linguistic, socioeconomic and demographic diversity. I believe the district will need a collaborative and inclusive process to move forward and I have the proven skills to collaborate with others to achieve results.
There has been criticism of the current superintendent and administration that has gone from constructive to unreasonable, particularly on social media. How do you propose creating a constructive dialog with the community?
It’s important to conduct regular, on-going opportunities to hear from students, staff and community members about topics of interest and need. In addition, I will readily make myself available for personal conversations with school community members. Trust is critical for effective relationships, which are critical for dialog.
How do you plan to address public concerns and improve openness and transparency, including responding to Missouri Sunshine Law requests?
I would address public concerns, improve openness and transparency by holding myself and others accountable for listening to community and staff concerns, adhering to policy and procedures, and asking questions related to requested board actions. The District has a process to respond to Missouri Sunshine Law requests that meets statutory requirements.
What do you think the relationship should be between the city and the school district concerning plans for additional growth in Lee’s Summit?
The city and district should continue on-going discussions regarding development. I believe the city, district and community would benefit from conversations about what we want our city to look like and be in terms of population, infrastructure, restaurants, livability factors, etc.