(JOPLIN, Mo.) – Veronica Scheurich was raised here and isn’t going anywhere – but would like to help Joplin schools go places.
And they’re starting off from a pretty good place, too.
The candidate for Joplin Board of Education in the April 4 election says Joplin public schools are better than most people realize, with huge class offerings for both traditional and non-traditional students.
“I think there is a misconception that some of the neighboring communities have better schools. I don’t agree with that,” Scheurich tells The Heartlander. “And so, I do think that the perception of Joplin schools is not always accurate. I think that’s something that could be improved.”
And if business owners are as concerned about fiscal stewardship as she says they are, Scheurich can help there, as well: The finance and business administration graduate of the University of Missouri in Columbia always loved math and science in school.
“I also appreciated the mathematical and logical side of English,” she laughs. “You know, grammar, diagramming sentences, all of that stuff that the creative types don’t really like.”
But her main selling point among the eight candidates – three of whom will fill the available seats – is her deep and abiding love for the community she was raised in and will always live in. She returned to Joplin after college, where she has worked in finance and investments for over 20 years.
“I’m in the Joplin community. I volunteer. I grew up here. I care a lot about it. I will live here for the rest of my life. My husband has a family (manufacturing) business. We are not going anywhere. So, I care about the outcome of Joplin schools and how it affects the community.”
Asked to describe her management style, she describes it as all ears.
“I would say that I tend to listen first,” she says. “I like to get everyone’s ideas and then make an informed decision. And I think a lot of people would say about me that I’m not afraid to be direct, but I can do so in a kind way that helps people work together to meet a goal.”
The busy mother of two’s goals for Joplin Public Schools are ever-improving graduation rates, good stewardship of finances and community growth.
“Business owners are concerned that we are continuing to be good fiscal agents of their tax dollars, and also attracting families so that their businesses can grow and the community can grow.”
Parents and grandparents, she says, just want what’s best for their children and grandchildren, “including offering the right classes, attracting and retaining great educators – because, you know, it doesn’t do any good to fill our schools with great teachers and then not be able to keep them or have them take jobs elsewhere.
“I’m inspired by the desire to give back to my community, and I believe that there is no more important way than the education of our youth. Running for Joplin Schools Board is something that I have considered for several years, and I am now ready to devote the time it requires to do the job well.”
Scheurich says she’ll make decisions with three specific goals in mind:
- the best education that can be offered to students in Joplin schools
- attraction and retention of quality educators
- maintaining the financial health and stability of the district
“I would like to see Joplin Schools be the district of choice in the regional community, both for families moving to the area and educators choosing where to work.”