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Affton School Board Incumbents Have a Challenger

Thomas True was a St. George alderman for two years.

Update: On Dec. 13 Thomas True withdrew from the Affton School Board race, citing family reasons. He's not ruling out a future run.

Thomas True, a 47-year-old pet photographer, is running against the two Affton School District Board incumbents for one of their seats.

Current board president Michael McNeil and director Christopher D. Castellanos, whose terms expire in April 2013, have both filed to retain their seats.

True said he is running because he saw some recent test scores of area school districts, and said Affton’s were lower than most around it.

“I have a real desire to see the children in the Affton school district get the best quality education that we can offer them,” he said.

He said he doesn’t have an agenda to make big changes, or feel like he needs to usurp anyone’s power, “I just want to put my hand in there and see if I can add some new ideas,” True said.

He’s covered state house, city council and school board meetings as a journalist, and said he knows governing can be hard work.

“It can be a grind,” he said. “You can’t just go in there and think you have a magic wand and change everything.”

He was an alderman in St. George from 2005-2007, and said he’s proud that St. George stayed out of the news for those two years. “I was conservative, overseeing that bills got paid, and if something came up I didn’t like I voted against it.”

He’s also been a substitute teacher around St. Louis.

“I just think maybe having some fresh ideas might help our kids get some better test scores, because isn’t that what we’re here for? Get the best education results for the dollars that we’re spending,” he said.

He said some area businesses will contribute to the schools.

“I’ve found that if you talk to the business and community places, that we can actually get a lot of access to educational things that can help children,” True said. “A lot of those places are willing to do things for free.”

Thomas True December 13, 2012 at 06:32 PM
As with any story, some slight errors are made. Generally this is good, one point is I suggest that working with area business is just a possible way to promote opportunity. By what I meant "do things for free" is that having talked with business owners in the past, many are willing to work in programs that can give students positive exposure to how business work to help enhance the continued quality of classroom training. I have no business in mind at this time nor have a talked to any of them on this issue. The bottom line is that I was under the impression that the two current board members were leaving the district and felt that this would be a good time to apply for the school board. As far as I know, since they are both running, they are fine supporters of the district and have the district staying a course that will lead to progress in a direction that all the district can be proud of. Ultimately, what is best for the district is what I am concerned about.
Doug Miner December 13, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Thomas True contacted Patch to say he is withdrawing from the race, citing family reasons.

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