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Parkway Board of Education Candidates Q and A: Chris Jacob and Patricia Adair

Get to know the Parkway Board of Education candidates as Chris Jacob and Patricia Adair respond to several questions from Patch.

Editor's note: Patch sent the following questions to each of the four candidates for the Parkway School District Board of Education. We are running the candidates' responses in ballot order, two at a time. .

Candidates are running for three open spots on the school board. Terms last three years. The election is April 5.

Chris Jacob

  • Has served on the school board since 2008
  • Semi-retired from the finance and technology fields
  • Bachelor’s of business administration in finance from the University of Houston
  • Lived in the Parkway School District for 22 years, currently lives at 222 Wildbrier Dr., Ballwin
  • Married with three children; children and grandchildren have been to Parkway schools 

Jacob was born in Long Beach, CA and attended public schools before enrolling in the University of Houston. He lived for 10 years in South America and Mexico and has lived in Ballwin since 1989. He previously worked in St. Louis for Emerson Electric, McDonnel-Douglas and Comsys Technical Services. His expertise was in finance, manufacturing systems and information technology consulting.

Since 1997, Jacob has worked to help his wife’s company, NextGen Information Services, move forward to become a national supplier of IT staffing personnel. He is currently semi-retired.

Please provide a brief summary of your reasons for running.

One cannot serve without learning. These past three years have been a continuing education and introduction into our learning environments. There is unfinished business in helping to implement recommendations of Project Parkway and helping a new superintendent as he leads the district. I am willing to devote time and energy to help Parkway achieve its goals and mission.

What role do you think the Parkway School Board should play in the community?

First and foremost the Board is responsible to the students, parents and taxpayers. This is their school district. The school board is entrusted to do their work to ensure a viable and complete education for all children.

What do you currently see as the biggest issue facing the district?

The biggest challenge is making sure each child is ready for the next step in their education, from each grade to the next, elementary to middle and high school to career. The most important is when they step into life after public education. We want to prepare them through our schools so they can meet any challenge that involves learning or character.

Assume you win the election. What single thing do you want to accomplish during your three years on the board?

I would feel we have done our job if we can successfully implement the mission and goals set forth in Project Parkway.

There have been a couple of changes in the district recently (,  and ). As the district moves forward with implementing Project Parkway, what things do you think should stay the same?

Everything about Project Parkway calls for us to “raise the bar” and be better. So I would want us to take what we have today and add to it to make it better. In that sense, we continue to be a flagship school district that meets the challenging needs of educating our children for a competitive world.

What changes are you hoping to see sooner rather than later?

I would like to see teacher and administrator evaluation models updated. The state is moving more towards performance-based measurements of teachers and we should expect no less of administrators. In my mind, the focus is not so much to grade teachers and administrators as it is to improve practices that we know improve learning by and for our kids.

Patricia Adair

  • She works as a project manager and designer
  • Master’s of business administration from Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis
  • This is her first year in the district; she lives at 2265 Westglen Park Dr., Maryland Heights
  • Married to husband Jason. Daughter Laynee has graduated. Daughter Dallas attends Parkway North High School and son Therin attends Parkway Northeast Middle School. Stepson Sam is not in the district.

Adair said her strengths are in project management, collaboration and teamwork, leadership, research, delegation and decision-making. She emphasizes volunteering with her family. She was a member of the St. Charles Community Emergency Response Team for more than two years. In 2008, when St. Charles faced flooding, she sandbagged with her children. Currently, she is helping a local sports team as their internet publicity committee head.

Please provide a brief summary of your reasons for running.

I am a firm believer in setting an example by educating myself on the tasks, duties and facts of the responsibilities I assume. Sound decisions cannot be made without considering the impact on and input from the stakeholders in the district. The students in the district are the major stakeholders. Teachers, parents, and administration are also stewards and stakeholders. I have always wanted to be more involved in the system in which I place my trust to educate my children. I now have more to offer than a desire to serve.

What role do you think the Parkway School Board should play in the Parkway community?

I believe the members of the board should endeavor to gather information from all stakeholder representatives, plus partner with them in order to make long-term, smart choices that will help further the ability of the students in the district to progress in their education and prepare them for lives after high school.

What do you currently see as the biggest issue facing the district?

Currently, the biggest issues for the district are addressing the overcrowding in the North area elementary schools, plus efficiency and equity districtwide. According to the task force recommendations, the solution proposed is a temporary one. I am not opposed to redrawing North area boundaries. However, if that is the agreed upon decision, implementation must be done with the utmost consideration and care. I understand any solution will not please all stakeholders. The key will be to minimize disruption for students, parents, and teachers, while optimizing efficiency and making sure the solution(s) are viable for the long-term.

Assume you win the election. What single thing do you want to accomplish during your three years on the board?

I will work with members of the school board, educators, administration, and parents to address the goals of Project Parkway and to propose and implement a scorecard system ensuring that the mission, values, and practices of the district are reevaluated in a sensible and timely manner. Practices and mission require adjustment on an as-needed, reasonable basis in order to stay aligned so that, in the future, the district does not require a major restructuring such as Project Parkway.

There have been a couple of changes in the district recently (,  and ). As the district moves forward with implementing Project Parkway, what things do you think should stay the same?

No comment.

As the district moves forward with Project Parkway, what changes are you hoping to see sooner, rather than later?

Project Parkway committees have an ongoing role to review the district’s progress toward meeting existing goals and to help develop Parkway’s five-year strategic plan from 2011 to 2016. I hope to see a process of reevaluation of the existing goals and addition of new goals as previous ones are accomplished. Although Project Parkway is a five-year plan, its momentum is phenomenal. I would like to see that progress continue.

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