MVBT School Board Questionnaires -- John Thompson

Name: John Thompson 
Length of time in district: 25+ years
Connections to the district: I am a LHS graduate and now have three children in the district.
Brief personal bio: I'm a married father of three residing in my hometown of Mountain View. My wife, Lauren, and our three children Brian, Attalyn, and Justin, enjoy the quiet country life. I am a 2004 LHS graduate, and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri. My passion for agriculture started by growing up on a dairy farm and I have continued that path by working for eight years with Pfizer Animal Health/Zoetis, four years with Purina, and now work for AmerisourceBergen. 
Why are you running for school board? I feel this is a way to serve my community and further invest myself in my children's future. 
What do you believe is the role of a school board member in the Mountain View/Birch Tree district? My view of a school board member is to be on a team of advisors to the superintendent to assure policies are being followed and created, be fiscally responsible with stakeholders' money, and keep the best interests of the students a priority.
Are you familiar with Missouri's Sunshine Law? Yes, I am familiar with it. 
Do you have an existing relationship with any members of the school board or administration? As an active parent and longtime community member, I have become familiar with many members of the administration and board.
How well do you think the district keeps the community and parents informed with the work of the school board? My philosophy in life is that you get out what you put in, so I actively seek information on my own. This has been facilitated with public access to the school board meetings, minutes, and agenda via their website and by reaching out to teachers, administrators, and the board as resources when I have questions. I also enjoy following many of the school programs on social media. 
What is your opinion of the district's academic performance? I feel our district has made academics a priority and is showing signs of success. I do feel that there is always room for continuous improvement, and we should strive for more.
What can be done to achieve accreditation? We are currently accredited, and my goal is to continue the academic success to maintain that status.
Do you believe the district prepares graduating seniors for college? Yes, I do believe our students are exposed to the education and resources necessary for college.
For careers that do not require a college degree? Yes, our kids have access to multiple opportunities to succeed in whatever field they choose. 
What is your plan to evaluate the effectiveness or success of the four-day school week? Academic metrics are what I'm interested in seeing to reveal the success of the condensed calendar. There will be opportunities arise for corrections as no battle plan survives contact, but I have faith in our faculty and administrators to be agile and brings issues forward with solutions. 
What is your opinion of the district's employee pay scale? I feel all teachers are underpaid. I do feel our district is determined to find opportunities to retain and attract top talent and salary is a piece of that. It's mandatory that our district seeks opportunities to increase salary without sacrificing other aspects of the budget.
Do you feel all sports programs are valued equally in the district? I feel kids have more opportunities to play sports today than I did when I attended 20 years ago. Where there is sufficient interest in a sport or program, I feel our district tries to meet the demand.
Would you be in favor of plans to add or subtract any programs? If there's support showing a program could provide new and engaging opportunities for students, I would be open to it.
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