Lee's Summit Voters Pick Former Educators For School Board

Apr 4, 2017

The Lee’s Summit R-7 School Board has three new members: Jacqueline Clark, Kim Fritchie and Dennis Smith.

Reached by phone, Smith said he was thrilled that voters had prioritized the experience of educators.

“I think the decision making is very similar to what I did as a teacher and a principal. It’s a team effort,” Smith, the former principal of Campbell Middle School, said.

Fritchie is also a retired educator. The 5,081 votes she received were the most of any candidate vying for a seat on the school board. Clark is a communications professional who graduated from Lee’s Summit High School.

Eleven candidates filed for three open seats, though two eventually dropped out. Bill Baird, Terri Harmon and Chris Storms did not seek re-election.

Many of the candidates campaigned on a promise of greater transparency. The district last year found itself embroiled in controversy after it came out that the superintendent was having a personal relationship with an attorney for the district. Former Supt. David McGehee ultimately stepped down.

The new board members will have to work with a new superintendent, Dennis Carpenter, who was hired in January. Carpenter is finishing out the school year in Hickman Mills.

Elle Moxley covers Missouri schools and politics for KCUR. You can reach her on Twitter @ellemoxley.