Kappy Hodges

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Kappy Hodges
Kappy Hodges.jpg
Board member, St. Joseph Board of Education, At-large
Member
Term ends
2020
Elections and appointments
Last electionApril 8, 2014
First electedApril 8, 2014
Next general2017
Term limitsN/A
Education
Bachelor'sUniversity of Washington
Personal
ProfessionCommunity volunteer
Websites
Office website
Campaign website
Kappy Hodges campaign logo
Kappy Hodges is an at-large member of the St. Joseph school board in Missouri.[1] She won election to the board in the general election on April 8, 2014.

St. Joseph School district is currently under state and federal investigations due to potentially illegal accounting and hiring practices by district administrators. The investigation is focusing on stipends issued by Superintendent Fred Czerwonka, who allegedly used a rebate from the district's insurance provider to distribute stipends to administrators without board approval. Additionally, Czerwonka, district human resources director Doug Flowers and school board member Dan Colgan also face accusations of using their positions to guarantee promotions within the district and raises for family members.

See also: Issues

Biography

Hodges has lived in the St. Joseph area since 2004 with her husband, Tim, and her son, Baker. She graduated from the University of Washington in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in communications and broadcast journalism. She serves in numerous community endeavors, including Cinderella's Closet, which helps girls get dresses for prom, and the Junior League. Hodges currently serves on the board at the Saint Joseph Animal Shelter and was the previous president of the Saint Joseph chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters. In 2013, she was named the YWCA Emerging Leader Woman of Excellence.[2][3]

Elections

2014

See also: St. Joseph School District elections (2014)

Opposition

Hodges was opposed by fellow challengers Jeff Bird and Lori Prussman for the two at-large seats on April 8, 2014.

Results

St. Joseph School District, At-Large General Election, 6-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngKappy Hodges 33.9% 8,453
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngLori Prussman 33.8% 8,414
     Nonpartisan Jeff Bird 32.3% 8,055
Total Votes 24,922
Source: Buchanan County, Missouri, "General Municipal Elections Official Results," June 20, 2014

Funding

Hodges reported $5,050.90 in contributions and $4,174.57 in expenditures to the Missouri Ethics Commission, leaving her with $876.33 on hand.[4]

Endorsements

Hodges was endorsed by the Saint Joseph Building & Construction Trades Council.[5]

Campaign themes

Hodges' campaign website listed the following as her campaign themes for 2014:

Why are you running for school board?


I think it’s a good idea to have school board members whose children are actually attending the schools they represent. I think you can be more sure that they will be making decisions with the welfare of children & their families in mind. If I didn’t step up and run for office, there would be no candidate or remaining board member with a child in the St. Joseph schools.


What SJSD issues matter to you most?

I’d like to see technology become a growing part of SJSD students education. It doesn’t need to be Apple, if those are too expensive, but I’d love to see the kids be able to shed their 20lb backpacks for a tablet that holds all of their books. Plus, today’s world is filled with technology. Everyone needs to not just know how to use it, but be comfortable with it, if they are to succeed once they graduate.


Parents and families of our students need better communication from the district. They also need a way to express feedback so the School Board knows of community concerns.


Teachers and school administrators need a better understanding of why the School Board makes the decisions it does. Teachers also need a way to give feedback about policies, especially ones that may not be going very well, without the worry of retribution.


With smoother communication will come a better climate and culture between the School District Administrators & Board and the school faculty and student families. Happy Teachers make for Happy students and a better education for our kids. [6]

—Kappy Hodges website (2014), [7]

Issues

Investigations into accounting and hiring practices

See also: Stipend scandal erupts in St. Joseph, Missouri and FBI narrows probe in St. Joseph stipend scandal

St. Joseph School District faces investigations by the Missouri State Auditor, the United States Department of Education and the Federal Bureau of Investigation related to stipends issued by Superintendent Fred Czerwonka. The superintendent, appointed in July 2013, allegedly used a rebate from the district's insurance provider to distribute $270,000 in stipends to 54 administrators without board approval. District policy requires a report to the school board and a deposit of any excess funds including refunds from vendors. Czerwonka, district human resources director Doug Flowers and school board member Dan Colgan also face accusations of using their positions to guarantee promotions within the district and raises for family members.

The flashpoint for these allegations was a school board meeting on March 24, 2014. Board member Chris Danford presented information she received from district residents about the stipends offered by Czerwonka. Beau Musser, the district's chief financial officer (CFO), also revealed that he received a list of stipend recipients from Flowers. Musser was placed on paid leave on March 28, 2014, after the superintendent presented him with several accusations of sexual harassment against district employees. The former CFO claims in a lawsuit against the district that Czerwonka offered to drop the harassment claims if he resigned from his position. During Musser's time as CFO, he found that the district could not account for 4,000 gallons of fuel, failed to follow bidding procedures for district vehicles and approved $189,000 in consulting fees without board approval.

About the district

St. Joseph School District is located in Buchanan County, Missouri
St. Joseph School District is located in St. Joseph, the county seat of Buchanan County, Missouri. St. Joseph is home to 77,147, according to the United States Census Bureau.[8] St. Joseph School District is the 17th-largest school district in Missouri, serving 11,377 K-12 students during the 2012-2013 school year.[9]

Demographics

Higher education achievement

St. Joseph underperformed in comparison to the rest of Missouri in terms of higher education attainment. The 2010 U.S. Census found that 20.4 percent of St. Joseph residents over 25 years old held undergraduate degrees compared to a 25.8 percent rate for the state of Missouri.[8]

Median household income

St. Joseph had a median income of $42,248 in 2010 compared to $47,333 for Missouri.[8]

Poverty rate

The poverty rate for St. Joseph was 18.4 percent in 2010 compared to a 10.5 percent rate for the entire state.[8]

Racial Demographics, 2010[8]
Race St. Joseph (%) Missouri (%)
White 87.8 82.8
Black or African American 6.0 11.6
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.5 0.5
Asian 0.9 1.6
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.2 0.1
Two or More Races 2.7 2.1
Hispanic or Latino 5.7 3.5

Presidential votes, 2000-2012[10]
Year Democratic vote (%) Republican vote (%)
2012 44.4 53.2
2008 49.1 48.9
2004 46.9 52.2
2000 49.2 47.3

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages.[11]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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References