Return to Headlines

Board of Education Candidates 2023

Six people have filed to run for election to the Harrisonville  School Board. Candidates are:
• Nancy L. Shelton
• Bing Schimmelpfenning
• Michael Culpepper
• Benjamin Johnson
• Ashley N. Franklin
• Paul W. Bartlett
On April 4, 2023, voters will select three people to serve three-year terms. Board members whose terms expire in 2023 are Cameron Chenoweth, Bing Schimmelpfenning and Nancy Shelton. Information on each candidate is listed below in the order they will appear on the ballot.

Name:  Nancy L Shelton
Occupation/Business:  Partner with husband Bill in Shelton & Sons LLC
Educational Background: Business College
Community organizations/memberships: Rotary Club of Harrisonville (Past President 2 terms), Harrisonville School Board (Past President 2 terms), Current Vice-President, Church on the Rock
Why did you decide to run for school board?  Because of my history with the district I believe I have valuable knowledge and input to contribute in order to have our district reach the potential it deserves
Please list three good things about the district. The support from the patrons which enabled the district to complete the recent bond projects, Dedicated staff, Amazing students who give so much back to their community
What do you believe the role of a board member should be? To hire a good superintendent is the number one job and the current board has accomplished that with its current superintendent and the new superintendent who will begin July 1. A board member listens and helps make a decision which becomes a board decision
Family: Husband Bill; Son Isac HHS Grad (Sarah);  Ella (HHS grad) Isabelle and Alexa; Son Kyle (Heather) Corwin; Daughter Naomi (HHS Grad)(Mer) Sylvie

Name:  Bing Schimmelpfenning
Occupation/Business:  Executive Director, Harrisonville Chamber of Commerce
Educational Background: 1988 Graduate Harrisonville High School; 1992 Graduate University of Missouri Kansas City, Bachelor of Arts & Science
Community:  Harrisonville Cass R I-X School Board Member 2017-Present; Assistant District Governor Rotary District #6080, 2020-Present; Harrisonville Economic Enterprise Zone Board – President 2020 -Present; Cass County Coalition of Chambers President 2016 – Present; United Methodist Church Member– 1990 – Present
Why did you decide to run for school board? I am running because I want to continue to lead the district into the future.  I believe that parents have the right to know what is being taught to their children as well as who is teaching them.  I am excited to see the district have a strong financial footing and am thankful to be part of that progress. Our students are being prepared for the future with the inclusion of our district in the Kauffman Foundation Real World Learning program.  I was the catalyst for our district joining that program and in turn receiving $75,000 in grant money from Kauffman.  The middle school students have begun “career explorations” and this will expand to include those at McEowen in the near future.  As the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, I worked with educators at the Cass Career Center to create a Marketing Internship for our students. So far, 3 students have been through the internship.  Our students not only deserve to FEEL safe but to BE safe at our schools.  Thanks to the community, our district was able to provide secured entrances for all of our buildings. As a member of the district Safety Committee, that has been our number one priority, the safety of our students, and staff.  I will continue to work to find ways to keep everyone in our district safe. I will continue to listen to the parents and fight for the direction they want our district to go in.  When C team sports were eliminated, parents and community members were upset, I fought until C team sports were re-instated in the district.   New challenges are facing our district from an increase in mental health issues to curriculum standards. I have the experience to guide our district through these challenges and ask for your support.
Please list three good things about the district.There are of course more than 3 good things about our district, but having to pick, I’d say without a doubt number one are our kids, followed by our staff and community.
What do you believe the role of a board member should be?  The role of a School Board Member is to work with the community to make sure that our students are receiving a world-class education that prepares them for the future.
Family:  My immediate family is my Sister and Mother, however I feel everyone in our community to be an extension of family.

Name: Michael Culpepper
Occupation/Business: Director of Supply and Logistics with Hunters Pride Construction in Harrisonville, MO.
Educational Background: General Diploma, Harrisonville High School- 2005; Bachelor of Science in Physical Education, Missouri State University- 2010; Master of Science in Education- Educational Leadership, University of Central Missouri- 2015
Community organizations/memberships:  My family is actively involved in Hope City Church; Member of Harrisonville Chamber of Commerce
Why did you decide to run for school board?  My family has deep roots in Harrisonville. My parents met and graduated from Harrisonville, where they then raised their family. I met my wife while attending Harrisonville where we are now raising our children. This community is a great place to raise a family and the school district is a big part of that. I devoted over 10 years as educator in our school district and although I have paved a new career path, my dedication and passion for this school district runs strong. I have seen both sides of the story, being a parent and community member as well as working firsthand with our students and teachers in our district. I am running for school board to ensure that those who wish to raise their families here can count on the Harrisonville School District to provide a marketable education, along side teachers, who have the tools to educate their students and the salary/benefits to provide for their families.
Please list three good things about the district. The talented and dedicated teachers that serve our community. The variety of career pathways our students can explore. Our generous and supportive community.
What do you believe the role of a board member should be? Above all, a school board member must be an advocate for our teachers and students. This includes collaborating with the superintendent, ensuring he or she has the resources and support for the district to run effectively, both academically and fiscally.  A board member must actively be involved in our community. Our community deserves someone that can actively listen to their questions or concerns.
Family: I am married to my wife Leslie, and have three children, Calvin (8), Bowen (5) and Hattie (2).

Name:  Benjamin Johnson
Occupation/Business: Realtor, Homeland Realty
Educational Background: Masters of Science in Education from Southwest Baptist University. Bachelors of Music Education from the University of Missouri at Kansas City - Conservatory of Music. I am also a 17 year public school teacher the last 6 of which were in Harrisonville.  I also received "Educator of the Year" from the Harrisonville Chamber of Commerce in 2018.
Community organizations/memberships: Member of the Harrisonville Chamber of Commerce , Member of HMS Bright Futures Board
Why did you decide to run for school board? I wish to make a positive difference in the community for our children, students, and families.  Harrisonville deserves to have the best public schools in the area and I would like to work towards that goal.
Please list three good things about the district. We have some fantastic teachers and students. We have many programs to be proud of. We have made great strides in building improvement and teacher pay.
What do you believe the role of a board member should be? Students First. Teacher Support. Transparency. Common Sense Best Practices. First and foremost, our district exists for our students.  As a teacher for 17 years I always tried to put the needs of the students first.  While I was a band teacher, I always believed that I taught kids through band.  I wanted them to be good people; band was my method of teaching that.  For many students this comes from a different outlet and this is perfectly okay.  We need to ensure that our students are supported and taken care of in all activities and educational areas.  This will ensure they are being prepared to be productive members of society and whole and complete individuals. Providing teachers and staff support is vital to taking care of our students.  Teachers and support staff are the main point of contact for most students. Our teachers and support staff need to know the district is there to support them, so they can continue to best support our students.  As a teacher I was in many situations where I felt very well supported; however, there were sometimes situations where I felt under-supported.  I can guarantee that my students had a better experience when I was supported.  It’s the old adage of “you can't pour from an empty cup.”   Transparency is another big goal of mine, both in terms of school finances and school policy.  I can’t tell you the number of times my fellow teachers and I felt like we had no idea what was going on above us in the district.  This is true of many school districts.  It always seemed like school policy and financial decisions were decided behind closed doors.  While I realize there are public records and policies in place for transparency, I think we can do better.  Parents, students, community, and school employees have the right to know everything that is going on in the district at every level within the confines of district policy and state laws.  It helps to create an honest and open environment which in turn goes back to being able to best care for our students in all areas. Next, common sense should prevail.  There is no “one size fits all” in public education.  We must create policies and procedures that allow for flexibility in many situations.  There are many policies in place that are great policies and need to be in place; however, as a district we should be able to make adjustments as needed to ensure the maximum benefit for all students at all times.
Family: Wife - Kate Johnson, Daughter - Lyra Johnson, 8th Grade

Name: Ashley Franklin
Occupation/Business: Branch Manager, Hawthorn Bank
Educational Background: Harrisonville Alumni 2001, College (General Studies) Southwest Baptist University
Community organizations/memberships: Lunch Buddies with Bright Futures, help with raising support for Bright Futures, active with BOCC (Businesses of Cass County), Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, and my family and I are members of Cornerstone Community Church in Harrisonville.
Why did you decide to run for school board? Harrisonville is the community I was raised in. It is the community my husband and I have the privilege of raising our two sons in. My heart is to be an advocate for our students and their parents, as well as for the teachers and admistrators of the Harrisonville School District, who are striving together each and every day to help our kids grow into responsible adults who can make wise decisions as they pursue their own hopes and dreams.
Please list three good things about the district. There are several things to list. The district is very open for community support through Bright Futures, booster clubs, and fund raisers, to name a few. The district is engaged in keeping students active with a great variety of extra curricular activities, clubs, and organizations, as well as great resources for early vocational training. The District has a consistent and effective communication process in place to keep parents informed on big picture outlooks as well as day to day happenings around our schools.
What do you believe the role of a board member should be?  School board members need to work on behalf of the public in order to help meet the needs of students in our district. They should be able to put their personal preferences aside in order to act in the best interests of the student body, and ultimately the community at large.  
Family: My husband’s name is Matt Franklin, and our two active sons are Kaden and Jesse.

Name: Paul Bartlett
Occupation/Business: Retired
Educational Background: Harrisonville High School, Class 84
Community organizations/memberships: Antioch Southern Baptist Church Member
Why did you decide to run for school board? I want to be able to represent the parents and protect and serve the children
Please list three good things about the district. The Kids. The Parents. The Teachers  
What do you believe the role of a board member should be? To be the voice of the parents and students.
Family: Wife Angie; Children Ashleigh-32 Zach -31 Alex-29 Mathew-27 Sarah-24 Hannah-23 Rebekah-21, Leah-20 Olivia-13. All but Olivia who is in 7th grade have graduated from HHS.