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Lindbergh School Board: Bee and Rezabek

Donald Bee and George Rezabek respond to a questionnaire about their candidacies for the school board. The election is April 5. This is the third of three parts.

Editor's note: A questionnaire was sent to each of the six candidates for the Lindbergh School District Board of Education. Here are the responses from Donald Bee and George Rezabek.

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

DONALD BEE

Age: 67

Address: 1321 Park Meadow Drive, Fenton

Occupation: Retired Lindbergh Educator/Coach

Education: Lindbergh graduate, bachelor's degree from Southeast Missouri State University, masters degree from Central Missouri State University

Family: Wife, Beth; 4 adult children: Christopher, Steve, Shannon Bee and Alexia Weitzel

Years lived in the district:  Over 35 years

Background/Experience: Lindbergh Schools Board of Education 2008-2011, delegate to Missouri School Board Association, Board of Education Subcommittee for Redistricting the Boundaries, CSIP Committee, Physical Education and Drivers’ Education Department chair, Former Sperreng Middle School PTO Officer, former Lindbergh High School Prom Dad, president of Lindbergh High School Alumni Association, active member of Kirkwood Baptist Church and Crestwood/Sunset Hills Rotary.

Reason for running:  After giving much thought and consideration to this position I started attending the Lindbergh Board of Education Meetings prior to my election in 2008. Now, as an incumbent, I feel a stronger commitment to strive to contribute to the leadership of Lindbergh to even greater expectations. Because of my close involvement through the years, I continue to have a genuine interest and sincere passion for Lindbergh.  I believe I have an awareness to keep the district moving forward.  I want to continue to keep our students as our main focus with the tradition to Equip, Educate and for Lindbergh students to Excel.

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

The continued success of educating the students in the district is very important with the current level of funding while not raising taxes.

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

I think we should address the uncertainty as in the past with a very conservative approach to budgeting and in particular closely monitoring and limiting spending. Lindbergh is recognized for the high quality of educational programs and academic achievement (recognized as #1 in the State of Missouri last September) so the task for the board is to maintain this high level and manage the public's money in the most responsible way possible. During my term as a BOE member, we have directed the administration to maintain a reserve fund, and make $6M in budget reductions. This was painful, but now the district is at a point where we will have a balanced budget for next year while keeping our "Excellence in Performance" rating from the State of Missouri.

In what areas does the Lindbergh School District need to improve? 

  • Continue to offer an excellent education to all students.
  • Continue to attract and retain top-quality teachers.
  • Continue to provide one of the lowest tax rates to the community.
  • Continue to maintain a balanced budget.
  • Continue to meet the mandates of No Child Left Behind and other legislation.
  • Continue to improve and update technology for students and staff.
  • Continue to ensure a safe environment for students, staff and visitors.

These are ongoing improvements each and every year.  They are intertwined.

Are you satisfied by the way the district has been operating? 

Yes.  As a district we were able to pass a Prop C Waiver, a Prop R bond issue for renovation of schools to relieve overcrowding and a Prop L tax increase to help balance the budget.

Assume you win the election.  What single thing would you like to accomplish on the board. 

I strongly feel that we need to retain and attract top-quality teachers and this will in turn continue the tradition of the excellence in education in Lindbergh Schools.

GEORGE REZABEK

Age: 51

Address: 8 Kahlia Way Court, St. Louis

Occupation: Pediatrician, Fenton Pediatric Associates

Education:  BS in Pharmacy, St. Louis College of Pharmacy; DO, Midwestern University, Chicago. Pediatric training: Saint Louis University and Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship: Saint Louis University, Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital

Years in district: 16+

Family: Wife, Cheryln, and children Sarah ( 2010 Lindbergh graduate now at Mizzou), Christopher (a sophomore at Lindbergh High school), Grace (Eighth Grade at Sperreng Middle School), Emma (Sixth Grade at Sperreng Middle School), and Nate (pre-school at Our Savior Lutheran School, Fenton).

Background: I am a pediatrician with Fenton Pediatric Associates, an affiliate with St. John’s Mercy Hospital. I grew up in semi-rural Illinois and attended college in St. Louis. I am involved  in the community as an elder at Our Savior Lutheran Church. I also am the medical consultant for the nurses in the Lutheran School Association and for the Valley Park School District. I have served as an assistant scoutmaster for Troop 25 in the past and worked as a parent volunteer for Prop L (recent tax increase in the Lindbergh district). I am the chair of the pediatric quality committee for our medical group.

Reasons for running: I am running for the Lindbergh Board of Education because I would like to maintain the quality that Lindbergh is known for. Our graduates do well on the college level and several receive scholarships and awards. I am also running to continue to provide our excellent faculty and staff the support and means to continue what they do best (teach and care for our children). I also would like to work to keep the quality Lindbergh education that my college student received to be the same quality that my soon-to-be kindergarten student receives. I am also running because as a daily advocate of children in my office I would continue as an advocate on the board.

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

The retention and continuing support of our teachers and staff in this very difficult financial time. Lindbergh is a hold harmless district which means we have to fund ourselves from our population base. We have always had excellent community support and it is the board’s job to continue to respect the taxpayer in making decisions but never, ever losing sight of the children in the district!

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

I would address this by saying that as above, our district has always had the support of our families and taxpayers. I would suggest that as, in the past, if any major financial situations are involved that the community be part of the decision through seminars and committees.

In what areas does the Lindbergh School District need to improve?

The only issue that I really can see would be ways for the district to try to give all parents and interested parties the chance to be included in projects and activities. New families and ideas should be welcomed with open arms and acceptance. I think that some people are not active because they feel they are not part of a group.

Are you satisfied with the way the district has been operating?

In general yes. I think the district has a strong belief in what’s best for the classroom and child. I know there have been some issues in the past but through discussions the problems are worked out.

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

The single most thing that I would like to accomplish is to say at the end of the three years that I was part of a group that worked and respected the teachers and staff  while being fiscally responsible in the  number one goal - OUR KIDS!

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