Matt Mallinson is a candidate for the Independence Board of Education. He is running for one of two, six-year terms on the board. Mallinson, 51, is a registered pharmacist and has owned Matt’s Medicine Store for 23 years. He has been married since 1980 to his high school sweetheart, Kathy. They are both 1976 graduates of Van Horn High School. He has six children plus two AFS students. Matt and Kathy built their home in Sugar Creek, their pharmacy in Independence, and are raising their six children in the Independence School District. He has sponsored many sports teams and donated more than 1,000 books to school libraries. He is a past Sugar Creek alderman and past president of the Sugar Creek Business and Civic Club.

Matt Mallinson is a candidate for the Independence Board of Education. He is running for one of two, six-year terms on the board. Mallinson, 51, is a registered pharmacist and has owned Matt’s Medicine Store for 23 years. He has been married since 1980 to his high school sweetheart, Kathy. They are both 1976 graduates of Van Horn High School. He has six children plus two AFS students. Matt and Kathy built their home in Sugar Creek, their pharmacy in Independence, and are raising their six children in the Independence School District. He has sponsored many sports teams and donated more than 1,000 books to school libraries. He is a past Sugar Creek alderman and past president of the Sugar Creek Business and Civic Club.
 

1 Why are you running for a seat on the Independence Board of Education?

I have been on the Independence School Board for the last year, having been appointed after the passing of Dr. Clothier. I actively supported and aggressively worked for the transference of schools from Kansas City to the Independence School District. I helped organize and participated in the School Make-overs and the bond issue. We are ready to start renovating the older facilities and to build the much needed two new grade schools. The board is in the process of making decisions on improvements, and I know I can contribute to the culmination of these projects.

2 How would you address the financial issues facing the school district in the next few years?

This is now and will continue to be a challenge. For several years, we have prepared for this expected revenue shortfall. Our budget will be at least $7 million less this year than last, and potentially less in the following year. By the diligence of Dr. Hinson, our administration, staff and faculty, we will remain strong. This is not an easy process, and the navigation through these financial storms will require clear communication and careful deliberation. As a business owner, these challenges are not unlike those I face daily.

3 Why do you feel like the $85 million bond issue approved in November is important for the future of the district?

We are growing. With the $85 million bond, we will be able to make capital improvements to our existing facilities and build two new elementary schools. This provides local jobs. This bond money is an investment in our schools and community, and greatly benefits our kids. The Independence School Board has a history of doing what is promised and not deviating from its original intentions. This is a strong trust factor that I greatly support.

4 What is your opinion on the 12 Blocks West project? Do you see it helping not only the city, but the school district?

We have learned from the annexation the importance of cooperation and dedication to our mutual goal and mission. The Chamber of Commerce, the unions, the city councils of Independence and Sugar Creek, Jackson County, Northwest CDC, the faith-based community, Truman Heartland Community Foundation, etc., must all work together for a successful culmination to this endeavor. I have been to Atlanta to view the progress of their long-term project. Improved housing and stronger neighborhoods will foster a stronger sense of community helping our school district become even stronger.


– Kelly Evenson