By Brandon Dumsky

Voters throughout Eastern Jackson County will decide who will fill the vacant seats on their local boards of education this upcoming April.

Potential candidates for the April 2 school board elections began filing last week for many EJC school districts. and for two other districts today marks the first day of filing. Although many districts are closed due to the winter break, filing resumes once an individual’s district reopens, and they can file at their respective district’s central office during regular office hours. The last day to file is Jan. 21, by 5 p.m.

In order to run for a school board in the state of Missouri, one must be a citizen of the United States, a resident taxpayer of the district, a resident of Missouri within one year and at least 24 years old. The Independence School District requires those interested in running to pick up a packet from Central Office and have it completed with at least 100 signatures of registered voters in the school district in order to be on the ballot.

Below are the vacant seats, term limits, and number of incumbents running for re-election in the Eastern Jackson County school districts.

Blue Springs

Three seats are open for the Blue Springs School District and three current members have already refiled, since the district’s first day of filing was last week. Current board members Kay Coen, Dale Falck and Dale Walkup have all refiled for April’s election. Terms are for three years.

Fort Osage

So far, board President David Shrout and members Gary Thompson and Kirk Stobart are running as incumbents for the district’s three open seats. Terms are for three years.

Grain Valley

Incumbents Jan Reding, Jeff Coleman and Phil Hutchinson are all seeking re-election for the three seats open in Grain Valley’s school board. Terms are for three years.


Independence’s Central Office will be open today from 8:00 a.m. to noon as it's the district’s first day for potential candidates to file. Unlike the rest of the Eastern Jackson County school districts, Independence board members serve six year terms. Two seats are vacant. Current member Jana Waits has reached the limit of two consecutive six-year terms, which makes her ineligible for re-election. Board member Denise Frears, who was elected in 2010 to replace the late Dr. Bob Clothier, will be running as an incumbent. 

Lee’s Summit

Lee’s Summit’s Stansberry Leadership Center will open its doors for a limited time today from 8:00 to 8:30 a.m. as filing begins for the district. The seven member board has a three-spot vacancy this election year.