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VOTE PREVIEW: Three running for Central school board

There are three candidates for two seats open on the Central school board. 

David Gross

Incumbent David Gross, 69, of Park Hills, has been on the board for 18 years.

Gross works in sales for Lamar Advertising Company. He is a member of the Mineral Area Community Elks Lodge. 

Gross has two adult children, Rodney and Pam, with wife Diana Gross.

Gross said he’s running for this office because of his interest and loyalty to the Central School District. He said it is an interest that includes administrators, teachers, coaches, and non-certified personnel.

In regard to his qualifications for the position, Gross cited his 18 years on the school board, as well as, Advanced Board Member certification and Master Board Member certification.  

As to his priorities, if elected, Gross said that his most important priority would be looking after the welfare, safety, and continuing education of the students.

“I want to do the best job possible for Central R-3.”

Chris Nelson

Chris Nelson, 45, of Park Hills, is also seeking re-election.

Nelson works full-time, as senior vice president of First State Community Bank.

Nelson is a veteran of the United States Navy. He is a member of the Mineral Area Community Elks Lodge and Park Hills-Leadington Chamber of Commerce.

Nelson has two children, Allyson and Chase, with wife Lesli.

Nelson said he’s running in order to volunteer his financial and management expertise to the school district.

In regard to his qualifications for the position, Nelson stated, “I have 20 years of management experience and I have served on the [School] Board for the last three years.”

As to his priorities, if elected, Nelson said that his aim was to make sound decisions that will benefit Central students and staff.

“I would like to help ensure that the Central School District remains an outstanding district.”

Dustin Layton

Dustin Layton, 35, of rural Park Hills, works as a Cloud architect for XCentium.

He is a member of The Bridge Community Church in Leadington, coaches Lady Rebels 10U fast-pitch softball and has coached soccer in Park Hills for the last two years.

Layton has three children, Karli, Gentry, and Carver, with wife Kerri Layton.

As to why Layton is running for this position he said, “I believe it is critically important that we, as a community, give our children the best possible school system we can. I believe that requires top-notch teachers and staff, a dedicated community, and a board of education with a vested interest in the success of everyone involved with the school system.”

As a father of three young children, ensuring they have access to a quality education is one of his top priorities.

“I’m running to do what I can to help Central continue to provide a great education to students.”

In regard to his qualifications for the position, Layton stated, “Above all, I’m a parent to two Central students, soon to be three. I’m also husband to an alumnus and long-time teacher at Central, as well as a coach to many Central students.

“While I have never served on a board of education, I believe the perspective I hold and the passion I have for doing what is right for students and staff would be valuable as a member of the board.”





Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3628, or at

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