Three candidates are competing for two seats on the Wright City school board. 

The candidates are incumbents Mary Groeper and Austin Jones and newcomer Dustin Ferrell.

Both seats are three-year terms. 

Groeper, Jones and Ferrell provided their profiles below. 

Mary Groeper

Mary Groeper, Wright City, has served on the Wright City school board for 24 years, starting in 1995. She served two years as president and 22 years as treasurer.

She is a member of the Missouri School Boards Association Board of Directors, representing Region 17, for nine years.  She serves on the nominating committee and has served on the advocacy and credentials committees.

Her other memberships and achievements include: MSIP 5 Revision Committee, Missouri Vision Project, Missouri School Boards Association Region 17, Paul Morris Community Service Award recipient 2009, Wright City Area Chamber of Commerce Person of the Year 1997, Wright City Business of the Year 2001, 2007 and 2009, Wright City Blue and Gold Scholarship Committee, Warren County Fine Arts Council, Wright City Kiwanis (charter member), Care to Learn Board of Directors, Wright City School District Lunch Buddy, Warren County Technical Institute Exploratory Committee and Member of Immanuel United Church of Christ.

Groeper has lived in Wright City for 46 years. Her husband graduated from Wright City High School, as did their two daughters. Now two grandchildren attend Wright City schools.  

“During my years of service on the Wright City School Board, I have seen many positive changes. I have been involved in many building projects, the implementing of many academic and sports programs, and the development of a sound working budget with clean audits. I would like to continue serving on the Wright City Board of Education and to be a part of the positive growth of our community,” she said. 

During the 24 years she has served on board of education, the district has built a new middle school, new elementary schools, a new central office and an Early Childhood Education Center.  

“We have added many STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) classes and activities from Legos Club at the elementary schools to aerospace engineering classes and Robotics Club at the high school,” she said. “We have added football, volleyball, soccer, and wrestling to our sports programs, giving our students more sports scholarship opportunities.  This past year we added an Experiential Learning Camp for all fifth-graders.  

If re-elected, “I have no personal agendas when it comes to changes to Wright City schools. I would be honored to continue to work with fellow board members, administrators, teachers, staff, our students, and the community to make Wright City School District one of the best school districts in the great state of Missouri,” Groeper said. 

She is married to Jack Groeper, a bank teller at FMB Bank. 

Austin Jones 

Austin Jones, an IT solutions architect at Express Scripts, serves in the Wright City Lions Club, Tribute to Veterans Memorial committee and the Blue and Gold Auction committee. He is president of the Wright City School board. 

He said he is running for re-election because he is dedicated to students’ success. 

“Achieving this goal requires a school district to focus on student achievement; involving parents and community in the school district; investing in both certified and support staff; investing in both facilities and instructional resources and ensuring an effective governance program is in place to properly manage these strategies and objectives through effective policies,” he said.   

“I have both the experience and the knowledge to objectively analyze options to utilize finite resources to implement these strategies to achieve Wright City’s mission: Dedicated to Students’ Success,” he said.     

April will mark Jones’s 18th year on the board. 

“Throughout my tenure, I have supported consistent fiscal policies that have resulted in structured compensation increases for both certified and support staff. Furthermore, the school district consistently receives clean audits. From a bold ideas perspective, I participated in a work group to define a ‘Profile of a Graduate,’ ” he said. 

Jones said he consistently voted for programs to increase opportunities for extracurricular activities at all levels.  He said keeping kids involved is a key component to student achievement.

If re-elected, “I will support student achievement by evolving curriculum to support Wright City’s Profile of a Graduate, continue support for advanced learning opportunities, such as Project Lead the Way, insist on a rigorous classroom environment, and help prepare Wright City for future MSIP requirements,” he said.  

He added he would also continue to advocate for sound fiscal management policies to provide competitive compensation packages and student programs and  advocate for students by speaking with state and federal political leaders. 

He is married to Donna Jones, a special education teacher with the Wright City R-II School District.

Jones has a website with more information: www.hpjones.com.

Dustin Ferrell

Dustin Ferrell is a park supervisor for St. Charles County Parks Department. He also owns a local landscape company. Ferrell attended St. Charles Community College, where he studied business administration and marketing. He graduated from Wright CIty High School in 2008.

“I want to give back to my community by making sure our students succeed and will be sure every decision and vote is in the best interests of the kids,” he said. “There is no one better to serve our community and have a voice in our district than someone who has lived here his whole life.”

He is married to Lyndsey Ferrell, a fifth grade teacher in the district. 

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