David Burge, 46
Occupation: Computer programmer/analyst.
Past or present community service/public office: Board of Education for seven years; treasurer of the BOE from 2010-2012; President of the Board of Education since 2012.
Why do you wish to serve your school district on the Board of Education?: Pleasant Hill has an outstanding school district and I want to continue to do whatever I can to ensure that all of the students in our district receive the best educational opportunities we can provide.
How do you feel about Gov. Nixon’s stance on the state’s education budget and his proposal to extend the school year?: I believe the state needs to prioritize both primary and secondary education and make sure that both are adequately funded. I do not agree that extending the school year is a good idea; in fact I think it is a very bad idea. Not only will it cost more money to keep the schools open longer, I don’t believe it will have any positive effects on test scores or student learning.
What would be your top priorities for the community you would serve, if elected?: My top priorities are to maintain the district’s current excellent financial condition; ensure that each and every student in our district continues to have the opportunity to receive and excellent education; and achieve 100 percent of all state and federal performance requirements.
Matt Gustin, 41
Occupation: General Contractor project manager.
Past or present community service/public office: Disabled Veterans, American Red Cross and Big Brothers Big Sisters Foundation supporters.
Why do you wish to serve your school district on the Board of Education?: I attended the school district and carry a lot of pride and loyalty toward our schools. I decided to run because I have three children in Pleasant Hill and want to give back to the district that has been a part of my entire life. I want to be directly involved to make sure we continue to meet and succeed our own expectations in which will propel our district ahead of the pack. I believe it is critical to have people like myself who appreciate and encourage the growth and education fundamentals.
How do you feel about Gov. Nixon’s stance on the state’s education budget and his proposal to extend the school year?: I believe it is more important to make sure our BOE collectively addresses and prepare for any such changes as they come forward before they directly impact our district.
What would be your top priorities for the community you would serve, if elected?: My top priorities would be to recognize and address concerns or ideas for anyone involved with the district whether it is faculty, students, parents, or local community. This would include starting with the district’s ability to implement and fund policies that encourage the faculty to improve quality of learning and education.
Note: Pleasant Hill School Board candidates John Edenburn and Donald Swofford did not return a candidate questionnaire.