Lori Prussman

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Lori Prussman
Lori Prussman member.jpg
Board member, St. Joseph Board of Education, At-large
Term ends
Elections and appointments
Last electionApril 8, 2014
First electedApril 8, 2014
Next general2017
Term limitsN/A
ProfessionReal estate website owner
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Lori Prussman 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


Prussman has spent the last 20 years involved in numerous PTA activities and also as a volunteer for the St. Joseph School District. Her appointments now include Missouri State PTA Treasurer, Executive Board member of the St. Joseph PTA Council and Chair for the Clarence J. Carpenter Memorial Fund Board. She is also the owner of a real estate website.[2]



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


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


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 (dead link)


Hodges reported $3,000 in contributions and $414.31 in expenditures to the Missouri Ethics Commission, leaving her with $2,585.69 on hand.[3]


Prussman did not receive an endorsement in this election.



Prussman ran unsuccessfully for for one of three at-large seats on April 3, 2012. She was opposed by Martin Rucker, Dennis Snethen, Chris Danford, Hamilton Henderson and Walter Hanabury.


St. Joseph School District, At-Large General Election, 6-year term, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMartin T. Rucker 21.1% 6,712
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngChris Danford 19.1% 6,063
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngDennis Snethen 15.4% 4,896
     Nonpartisan Hamilton Henderson 14.3% 4,542
     Nonpartisan Lori Prussman 13.7% 4,344
     Nonpartisan Walter Hanabury 12.9% 4,116
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 3.6% 1,137
Total Votes 31,810
Source: Buchanan County, "Election Results 2012," accessed July 3, 2014

Campaign themes

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

I would like to take just a few moments to say a few things. Would each of you close your eyes and share in my vision for the future of our community? First, I see our schools...modern, each a shining jewel. Ready for twenty-first century learning. A place where all students feel safe, happy and ready to learn. A place where they can be free of fear from being bullied. A place where they can dream big dreams and be taught the skills and confidence that will allow those dreams to become a reality.

A place to inspire teachers and staff to dare to dream those big dreams along with their students. A place where they can feel confident that they are truly preparing the next generation of leaders. A place where they can bring in their perspective and ideas on how to reach their students without fear of backlash. A place where really knowing their students and developing relationship with them. Meeting them where they are and showing them the path to a brighter future. Giving their students the power to see past their current circumstances and to see that there is a better way and that no child would ever feel trapped or stuck in poverty.

I see our schools as a place for not just a few parents who are active but all parents are an active part of their child's future. Giving all parents the confidence to know that their child is important to us and that we believe in them. I see a place that all parents are free of fear to come into their child's school and know that they are welcome. Giving the parents and community the opportunity to take ownership and know that their opinion counts and makes a difference. We will never all agree on everything but if we can vet our differences and have an opportunity to come to agreement. Knowing that the goal is to do what is right for all students.

Our leadership...I see a team!!! I see us all coming together (admin, school board, teachers, parents, community members, elected official's) and working for what truly should be our goal, to make the St Joseph School District the best that it can be by doing what is right for kids. I see a team that will develop plans together, hearing all points of view and formulating a plan to make our district the best in the state...the country. I no longer see us as a training ground for teachers. I see a place where the best and brightest teachers and admin are fighting to come and work for our district.

Then I see our community as a whole. I see businesses looking at our community and saying..."They've got it right! This is a community where education is a priority. This is a place where my executives and employees would feel confident in sending their children to. This is a place where I know that I will be able to fill the positions in my company with graduates who are prepared!" I see us then in a position to draw companies here that will be able to offer our community good paying jobs, so that Mom and Dad don't each need two jobs to be able to pay their bills.

Imagine what this would do to our schools and students. We would no longer have a 60-65% free and reduced lunch rate. Parents would have more time to be involved with their children's education, the PTA, PACT, to volunteer in the schools and help mentor other students, have time to work with their children's teachers to come up with strategies that they can use at home to help their children excel. It takes a village to raise a child. Each school would have a strong PTA where we can bring in even more programs and help to our schools with projects. Our tax revenue would be much higher, so we no longer make cuts that will hurt the education of our students. Teachers will have the resources they need to properly teach their students. Adding to, not taking away! [4]

—Lori Prussman website (2014), [5]


Missouri-Stipend Scandal.jpg
Learn more about the scandal in
St. Joseph School District...
The story so far
The stipend scandal
The FBI probe
The rescinded suspension
The $2 million shortfall
The secret tapes
The ousted administrators
Key figures
Superintendent Fred Czerwonka
CFO Beau Musser
HR Director Doug Flowers
Trustee Chris Danford
Trustee Dan Colgan
St. Joseph School District
2014 school board election
2015 tax levy renewal
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Missouri State Auditor

Investigations into accounting and hiring practices

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.[6] St. Joseph School District is the 17th-largest school district in Missouri, serving 11,377 K-12 students during the 2012-2013 school year.[7]


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.[6]

Median household income

St. Joseph had a median income of $42,248 in 2010 compared to $47,333 for Missouri.[6]

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.[6]

Racial Demographics, 2010[6]
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[8]
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, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[9]

Recent news

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