January 16, 2021
Rodrick Sparks was born and raised in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Sparks is a proud graduate of Raytown South High School and attended Kansas City Kansas Community College and Liberty University.
Rodrick is an accounting specialist for Hendrick Automotive Group, the largest privately held automotive dealership group in the nation. Rodrick and his wife Lauren have two children together, who both attend schools in Lee’s Summit R-7 school district. Rodrick has positively contributed to the lives of young people for over a decade in Kansas City, Raytown, and Lee’s Summit through his work as a youth minister and counselor.
“It’s the young people who hold the solutions to many of our problems. Their ability to look past what is towards what can be motivates me every day. This type of hope is contagious. The global pandemic has been tough for our children, but their goals and dreams for the future are just as real today as before. We have to give them the resources they need to thrive.”
Sparks was elected President of the United Steelworkers Local 13-07 in 2014 and is serving his second term as a board member of Wedgewood Point Homeowners Association.
“I’m a working-class guy who understands the value of hard work, and nothing is handed to you. I went to college but have spent most of my professional life working alongside people who have been successful in life without it. We must provide our kids with options, and that may not always be a college degree. It might be a professional license or certification. It may be joining the military like my father did. I may not possess a fancy advanced degree, but I like to believe I have a master’s degree in common sense, and that’s needed now more than ever.”
Some of Sparks’ plans upon being elected to LSR7 school board include strengthening the district’s Community Advisory Committee, so that families have a direct impact on board decisions, enhancing district Covid-19 protocols to safely keep students and teachers in the classroom, expanding mental health services for students through school district partnerships with non-profit organizations, working with the board to create policies that assist students whose academic performance was negatively impacted by virtual learning, and partnering with local businesses and multinational corporations to provide high school students with workforce development opportunities through year-round internships and externships.
“It’s been a tough year for all our families. We have sacrificed a lot; our time, our health, even our freedom, but I still see plenty of opportunities to help our kids be the best if we work together. I am not interested in listening to those who say we cannot make progress. Together we can.”