The following residents of Madison County will be running for election as University of Missouri Extension Council Representatives to serve two-year terms beginning March, 2018.
Missouri state statutes create county extension councils to work with University of Missouri Extension. The publicly-elected (and appointed) council members assist in planning and carrying out extension programs in their county, providing local extension governance and representing the diversity of the county’s changing population.
University of Missouri Extension offers educational programs addressing high-priority areas like agriculture, horticulture, nutrition, consumer and family economics, business and industry, community development and youth development (4-H).
All residents of Madison County who are 18 years of age or older may vote one time in the County Extension Council election. The ballot was on page xA of the Jan. 17 issue of the Democrat News and can be submitted at the MU Extension Center at 137 W. Main St., Fredericktown or you may vote online at extension.missouri.edu/madison through Jan. 26, 2018, by mail, or in person at the MU Extension Center.
If you have any questions please contact the MU Extension Center at 573-783-3303.
These profiles and photos were submitted by the Madison County Extension Office. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order:
Steven Brewen is a butcher, is married with a 2-year-old son and enjoys baseball and reading.
When asked why he thinks he is a good candidate for Extension Council Steven said, “I am interested in what the Extension Council works for and I think I could help them going forward.”
As an Extension Council member he hopes to be able to help the Council and the community grow.
Joe Clauser is the Fredericktown Elementary School Principal. He is a member of the Missouri State Teachers Association, Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals and Meadow Heights Church. He thinks he is a good candidate for Extension Council because he grew up in Madison County and has enjoyed many of the benefits of being a member of our community, including the Extension Council. In high school, he was a member of the Youth Active Leadership Experiences (YALE) program that was funded by an Eisenhower grant through the Extension Council. Through the program he was able to travel to Washington, D.C. and Mexico to participate in leadership training and learn more about national and international affairs. Joe has always had a great appreciation for the services provided by the Extension Council, and as an educational leader he said believes he has experiences and knowledge that will be very beneficial in planning for increased educational opportunities for our community.
When asked what he hopes to accomplish in his position as Extension Council member he responded, “It is very important for the Council to remain sensitive to the needs of the community and provide programs and services that meet the greatest needs. To meet those needs, I would like to see more educational opportunities for parents and families. Three areas where I see an increasing need for these opportunities are family literacy, entrepreneur training, and financial challenges.
I would like to see an increased focus on family literacy programs where parents and their children can develop strong bonds focused on improving children’s exposure to language from birth through high school. I also think that Internet literacy, including safety and responsibility, is an area where youth and adults need to be better trained to face the challenges of 21st Century communication and relationship building.
The entrepreneurial spirit of our community is very strong and has provided many opportunities for small businesses to develop and thrive. I believe it is important to provide entrepreneur training and networking to keep building on this spirit and provide more individuals the opportunity to realize their dreams of owning a small business and contributing to the economic growth of the community.
Some of the most pressing challenges for families involve financial decisions. In a poor economic climate, these challenges have become even more difficult for families to overcome. I would like to see financial education for youth and adults that promotes budgeting and making wise financial decisions. I would also like to see an increased emphasis on job search assistance and self-advocacy training to support those who are unemployed or underemployed in taking the next steps toward securing employment.”
Melissa Kline is a retired teacher from the Fredericktown School District and is currently serving as the Director of College for Kids at Mineral Area College.
Her interests include teaching chair yoga at the library every Wednesday morning and service projects through the Fredericktown Foundation and AAO, an organization of ladies who perform community service and provide a local scholarship.
Melissa feels she is a good candidate for Extension Council because she taught high school science for 28 years and understands the importance and value of education. Working with teenagers and their parents has given her much experience in weighing the pros and cons of an argument before making a decision. She has a thorough knowledge of our county and wants to work for the good of the community.
When asked what she hopes to accomplish with her position as Extension Council member, Melissa responded, “I hope to fulfill the duties of a council member such as working with specialists to provide the county educational program, assist with managing the finances of local operations, and provide personnel to carry out Extension activities.”
Angela Hunter Knight
A native St. Louisan, Angela recently retired from a fulfilling teaching career that spanned well over 35 years. For the past 23 years as a Madison County resident, she happily made a daily 250-mile round-trip commute to school. Four hours driving every day was considered her “part time job” on top of being a full-time educator.
Serving as the Fine Arts Department Chair and Senior Class Advisor at Crossroads College Preparatory School, there was never a dull moment. Angela currently spends time on her farm in beautiful Madison County working with horses, gardening, maintaining the farm, hiking with dogs on the trail and dreaming about her next artistic endeavor in her studio. She is actively involved with The Irish Wolfhound Club of America and serves on the editorial board of the club’s award winning publication, Harp and Hound. Angela earned her BFA from Fontbonne University in 1980 as a Drawing and Education Major. She has been moving into the realm of sculpture and stone carving since living in Fredericktown, but continues to enjoy all forms of artistic expression, including literature, music, theatre and film. Photography is a new passion that she shares with her librarian husband, Bill Knight.
A lifetime of work as an educator required excellent communication skill paired with dedication and sincere but balanced empathy. Understanding the needs of all students helped Angela design programs that were effective, relevant and timely. Fostering community and creating a positive learning environment created the framework for her leadership and teaching success. She would enjoy the opportunity to share her interests as an Extension Council member.
Lynn McCombs has resided on a small farm in Madison County for thirty-three years. She obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development in 2010. She worked at Ironton Co. Head Start for eleven years teaching preschool before moving to Faith Foundation Children’s Home as a case manager in March 2017. She has been a member of the Lady Lions Club Drill Team since 2003. She and her daughter, June McCombs, have actively participated in 4H for the last four years. She would like to be elected as a University of Missouri Extension Council Member to help develop the 4H program in Madison County.
Brandon Tull has been a Fredericktown resident since May 2017 but has been visiting family here since 2005. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force, having spent 14 years serving as a Healthcare Technology Manager in Texas, Kansas, Illinois and three tours overseas. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. His interests include networking, social media, and business development.
When asked what experiences will contribute to his service as an Extension Council member he cited his organization of #theSumof15, a summer long professional development series that brought 15 city-wide leaders in to share their experiences and stories that lead to their success.
He has also served in leadership of booster clubs as President of the MDG Booster Club in 2011, organizing 13 events and raising $5,500 for a group of 250 and as Treasurer of that club in 2010. He participated in the Global Leadership Summit from 2015-2017. Brandon also developed and organized “Speed Mentoring” sessions, inviting 30 leaders in different industries to speak and share their expertise with mentees who signed up to attend in a “speed dating” format, giving attendees one-on-one access to many local leaders.