Joe Keneally is a candidate for the Fort Osage Board of Education. He is running for one of two, three-year terms on the board. Keneally, 46, is an IT Management Professional for the USDA. He and his wife, Rose, have four children: Charles Keneally, 26; Alyssa Keneally, 16; Grace Keneally, 12 and Arianna Keneally, 6.

1 Why are you running for a seat on the Fort Osage Board of Education? I have a truly vested interest in the success of our district as my children will be here for some time to come. I am also a very creative person who often sees options and opportunities that are not readily obvious to others. I feel an obligation to try and help guide our district through the difficult time ahead.

2 How would you address the financial issues facing the school district in the next few years?  Careful considerations must be made that balance the need to cutback or trim and the need to provide not only basic services but enhanced services as well. If the school district cuts back too much to balance things out people will leave that district in search of greener educational pastures. We must make careful and well-informed choices.

3 Vision 2020 is the district’s long-range development plan. What do you feel the next project should be in the Fort Osage School District? What is the most crucial need? In all honesty, the vision 20/20 project (or something quite similar) should be continued as a long range measurement and response tool that will allow our district to respond to the changing needs of our students and staff. The need to refresh and augment infrastructure will not simply go away in the future. We must continue to observe measure and plan for change.

4 What do you see as the most significant challenge for students as they graduate high school and move onto the world of work or post-secondary education?  I think that helping students understand that doing something that they want to do is far more important than getting the maximum monetary return right out of the gate after school. Secondary education is pretty much a requirement for any meaningful professional life after high school but college is not the only option. We need to help our young people really imagine what they would like to do for the rest of their lives and then help them figure out how to do it.