.

Affton School Board: Bellavia and Alexander

Tom Bellavia and Mike Alexander respond to a questionnaire about their candidacies for the school board. The election is April 5. This is the first of two parts.

Editor's note: A questionnaire was sent to each of the four candidates for the Affton School District Board of Education. Here are the responses, edited for clarity, from Thomas Bellavia and Michael T. Alexander.

Candidates are running for three open spots on the school board. Terms last three years. The election is April 5.

THOMAS BELLAVIA

Age: 53

Address: 6949 Lake Park Circle, Affton, MO 63123

Occupation: Vice President, Treasury Services, M&I Bank

Education: B.S. in Finance

Family: Spouse, Kathy (Teacher Assistant at Mesnier Elementary), and children, Chris (Graduate Program, MS&T), Dan (Truman University), Jeremy (Affton High School).

Years lived in the Affton District: 20

Background/Experience: Over 28 years experience in corporate accounting, cash flow analysis, budgeting and financial reporting. I have served on Parent Advisory Committees at all the Affton schools providing input to the school Principals. I've been a member, President and Vice President of the Affton PTO and served on several district and superintendent committees. Coached teams in the Affton floor hockey and basketball leagues as well as CYC soccer, basketball and baseball for over 19 years

Reasons for running: My decision to seek re-election mirrors my thoughts from three years ago. My wife Kathy and I, along with our children, have been Affton residents for over 20 years. Our 2 oldest sons graduated from Affton Schools, while our youngest attends Affton High School. Our children have all excelled and have good experiences in the district. Serving on the School Board is a way to give back to the community and help contribute to meet the priorities of educating the children of Affton.

What do you currently see as the biggest issue facing the Affton School District?

We need to continue to ensure every student has the opportunity to learn to the best of their ability, from preschool through high school graduation. We want to add challenging new programs in science, engineering and mathematics as well as work to provide additional resources to students needing additional assistance.

Unfortunately our funds are limited and we are approaching the point where very difficult decisions are going to need to be made. I dislike bring everything back to funding issues, but that is the current reality.

How would you address the continuing uncertainty over state funding for schools?

Our state leaders need to get serious about overhauling the way districts are funded. There really is no logical reason to base funding on the assessment value of a home or business. The Affton community has always done a great job supporting our schools and I’m sure that will continue. However more ideas are needed from the state.

In what areas does the Affton School District need to improve? Are you satisfied with the way the district has been operating?

I am satisfied with the direction of the district. I don’t think you can find a more dedicated group of teachers and support staff and we feel we have the leadership team in place to keep improving in everything we do.

Our goal should be to be in the top five for academic achievement in the county. The district needs to review all areas of curriculum and instruction to provide a consistent method of learning for all students as they progress through the Affton District.

Assume you win the election. What single thing do you want to accomplish during your three years on the board?

I am a big supporter of early childhood education and led the charge to restore funding for our Parent As Teachers program.

I commit to work to find a way to open an early childhood education center and do that within the scope of our current budget.

MICHAEL T. ALEXANDER

Age: 52

Address:  9204 Lucia Drive, Affton, MO, 63123

Occupation:  Customer Service Rep

Education:Grade school: Seven Holy Founders, graduated 1971. Affton High School graduate of 1976.

Family: Married with one child, Michael Jr., age 30.

Years lived in the Affton District: Grew up here for 20 years, 1958 to 1978. In 1979 was married and moved away, then moved back in 2006.

Background/Experience: I am a 1976 Affton graduate. I was married to a great wife for 25 years until cancer took her life from me and my son. I have served on the Affton Fathers Club since 2004 as treasurer. I have also run the Affton Iceless Hockey League for five years now, but have been involved as a referee for over 30 plus years now. I have been on the Affton School Board for 3 years now. I also coached in-line roller hockey for Affton High School for three years and for Fox High School for three years. I received a Soar Award for voluteer work in 2005.

Reasons for running: I love doing and seeing what we do as school board members and as fathers club members. Watching the kids grow, and the smiles on their faces when you meet up with them and they say "Hi Mike!"—I am doing this all for our kids and to better their education.

What do you currently see as the biggest issue facing the Affton School District?

I only see our need to come up with a early childhood education center.

How would you address the continuing uncertainty over state funding for schools?

I don’t see much in this because our school is about 95% locally funded. If we changed this, then it might be a problem.

In what areas does the Affton School District need to improve? Are you satisfied with the way the district has been operating?

Now that we have made changes and picked a new superintendent, I am very happy. We have two great leaders in the right place and should take our district forward. As for what we need to improve, we are now in need of field space for sports practices and to have softball games at our school and rather than playing them at other places.

Assume you win the election. What single thing do you want to accomplish during your three years on the board?

I want to make sure that we stay on plan with our Comprehensive School Improvement Plan and keep moving forward with an early childhood center in our district.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »