By Tyler Schneider
Three Year Term Candidates (Choose two)
Originally elected in April 2019, Dawn Foy has since established herself as vice president of the Grandview Board of Education.
With a vast career in education that includes over 35 years of teaching, Foy retired as a Grandview teacher in 2016 and remained active as a substitute teacher, a member of the Grandview Education Foundation, the district’s Employee Recognition Committee, and in several retired teachers’ organizations before taking her spot on the board.
During her first term, Foy saw the budget as a key area of concern she made efforts to address.
“I feel proud to have been part of passing a substantial bond and levy package in our district last year during a time of global uncertainty,” Foy said.
Likewise, she considers staffing to be an issue she would like to make a priority if elected.
“I will do this by supporting district administration in seeking the best of the best and working to offer them a competitive salary and benefits package as well as a learning and teaching environment where any qualified individual would be proud to come to each and every day.”
Helen Ransom, a former PTA president, was appointed to fill this seat in October 2021, but being a member of the Grandview Board of Education has long been on her wish list.
If voters give her the nod on April 5, Ransom will keep her seat for three more years. She cites student achievement gains and “a concern for our teachers” as two issues she would like to tackle.
“The best way for me to address those types of issues is by engaging and asking questions at board and committee meetings, and when interacting with our teachers and staff,” Ransom said.
As a member of the Board of Education, Ransom would also like to put forth efforts to continue to improve Grandview’s reputation in the greater Kansas City metro area.
“I still encounter a lot of raised eyebrows and questions when people learn I send my children—proudly—to Grandview schools. There is such misinformation and old, inaccurate rumors surrounding the district and community. I love the work the district (and city) has done in the last few years to begin to change the narrative, and I’m excited to support that and help spread the word about how amazing this district is,” Ransom said.
“The Grandview School District graduates 86% of our students but we can do better,” Joshua Hill said of his reason for running for a Board of Education seat.
If he can successfully oust one of two incumbents, Hill—a business owner and the son of a pair of Kansas City educators—has his eyes set on bolstering the district’s STEM. curriculum and working to attract and retain top notch instructors over the course of the three-year term.
Hill, who holds an M.A. of Arts from UMKC, cites his desire for a renewed focus on “the classics in literature,” such as Mark Twain and Shakespeare.
Hill has ideas for other projects as well, such as increasing lighting and security on campuses as well as providing resources for the parochial and homeschooling communities.
Hill believes his 15 years worth of experience in hiring human resource talent can transfer over to the pursuit of hiring and retaining top notch educators.
The budget is another area in which his business acumen could come in handy, though he notes that with a recent increase in funding, “I think we are okay for now.”
“If we needed more funds, then I think you first do a zero based budget approach to see, from the ground up, what you need. If you have a true shortfall, you first explore ways to monetize existing properties. I think finding businesses that will sponsor events or buildings may be a good option,” Hill said.
One-Year Term Candidates (Choose one)
Appointed to fill a vacancy in October 2021, Stacy Wright feels she has just gotten started with her work on the Grandview C4 School Board.
“In the six months since my appointment, I have completed over 20 hours of training. I have spent more than ten hours touring the nine district schools, learning about the successes and struggles of each. There is only a year left on this term, and it takes time to get up to speed. I am already there,” Wright said.
As the only Kansas City resident, Wright represents 22% of the district elementary students who also live in Kansas City. The district draws 50% of its tax revenue from Kansas City, according to Wright.
Wright holds a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies from Cornell University and was the owner of a business catered towards children, Pump It Up of Shawnee Mission, for 14 years. She is currently a Court-Appointed Special Advocate.
Wright is a 20-plus year resident and a district parent for 12 years. For 10 years, she served as a Parent Liaison to the P.E.G.S. Advisory Committee.
If reelected, Wright looks to continue to provide administrators the necessary conditions to perform their duties.
“The board is meant to allow the administration to lead, not to micromanage. For the most part, we are not trained educators or administrators; we are parents and community members. My priority is to make certain the district policies—including the budget—reflect the needs and concerns of the community, and that the administration is adhering to those policies,” Wright said.
Keith David Shaw
A Grandview resident for over 22 years, Keith David Shaw believes his distinguished military service and his 17-years of experience holding leadership positions at Sprint, Nokia, and H&R Block will carry weight with voters, April 5.
“Serving in the U.S Army for over 30 years, I have vast experience helping young men and women transition from adolescence to become productive, patriotic citizens. I think serving on the Grandview Board of Education is the best way to leverage my knowledge, experience, and wisdom to help the school district advance now and in the foreseeable future,” Shaw said.
Shaw applauds the work of district leaders and stakeholders thus far, but would like to see test scores measuring academic progress continue to increase.
“My approach is to have regular one-to-one conversations with the superintendent to understand the rationale behind their decisions and work collaboratively with my peers to help shape my independent view of the issues and, subsequently, my thoughts on the best courses of action to take,” Shaw explained.
Another key issue for Shaw is the budget. Shaw—who holds a B.S. in telecommunications management from DeVry University—is not afraid to put in the legwork to secure adequate funding for Grandview students.
“If the current state budget does not provide adequate funding for increasing needs, I will work with my peers to develop a business case to present to local and state governments to secure the financing needed. The shortfall could be addressed in bond issuance or letting the voters decide if the school district warrants a tax increase. If all else fails, I will work with the superintendent to make the line-by-line budget reallocations needed to sustain critical programs with minimal impact on students,” Shaw said.