The Morning News :: News
Incumbent Jack Skillett faces challengers Vernon Meek and Dallas Willis in his bid for the five-year board term in the Sept. 17 school election.
...Vernon Meek Meek
, who was raised in Gravette, is seeking a first term on the board.He has a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas and he owns an electroplating company, PM Industries in Springdale.
After several years in Fayetteville, Meek
moved back to Gravette six years ago so his
children could go to a smaller school.He
wife, Debbi, have two daughters, Cassi, a high school senior, and Sammi Beth, an eighth-grader.
"With two kids in Gravette, I have a vested interest," he
likes to be involved in the community.He
is active in his
church and serves on Gravette's Parks and Recreation advisory committee. He
believes there has been a lot of good change in the educational system. Meek
supports President Bush's
education plan, No Child Left Behind, which sets new federal guidelines for teacher and school accountability and low-performing schools.
The new standards, however, create tremendous challenges for the school districts, he
Another challenge, Meek
said, is the low millage rate compared to other school districts in Northwest Arkansas.
"I'm concerned about tax increases, but at the same time we have to be willing to do what it takes to increase our standards," he
believes the biggest issue for the district is finding the resources to meet the standards.
said communication is key among the parents and the school board and school administrators.
"We have a good district, but there's always room for improvement," he
said, "and I would like to strengthen the school board."
Willis said she
decided to run for the board when she
saw two seats were open.This is her first time running for a school board position.
Willis and her
husband, Terry, have lived in Gravette for three years.She is a staff worker at the Benton County Criminal Detention Center.
Before moving to Northwest Arkansas, Willis lived in California and worked as a school bus driver.She was the vice president of the California School Employees Association.
Willis also worked with special-needs children.