JOPLIN, Mo. — Local voters have a choice to make next week – picking two new leaders for the Joplin School District.

Meet Rylee Hartwell, Joshua Bard, and John Hird.

Rylee Hartwell, Candidate, said, “To continue the good work we’ve done on salaries and pay, to make Joplin the number one district in the region. Second to maintain and continue to build our finances through a strong regimen of fiscal responsibility for the Joplin school district. And last but not least, to serve my hometown and my community.”

Joshua Bard, Candidate, said, “And I just feel like it’s a great step in my current place as far as life. I think that going forward it’s going to be crucial to have people that are going to look forward to the future on our boards and committees.

John Hird, Candidate, said, “With the schools being shut down and the high school especially this last year, it’s raised the level of concern that our kids have fallen behind, further behind than the other area communities around us and also the lack of connectivity, the lack of moving forward. that they’ve really lost the year of their school has really concerned me. And it’s really motivated me to run for the school board.”

“I would like to see a more fluid disciplinary actions and stuff like that through the district. I know that our principals and stuff like that have pretty much free reign in each, each school that they hold,” said Bard.

“We have to put key metrics in place that really align around getting our kids educated, I think we have to have an honest and open, transparent conversation on where our kids are at in the educational process. And we’ve got to roll up our sleeves and put all our efforts round getting our kids educated and caught back up,” said Hird.

“My top priority will continue to be uh making Joplin schools the destination school district, the school district of choice. First and foremost having the best teachers in the region, okay, and then also providing the best academic experience for our students possible,” said Hartwell.