Patch sent all local candidates for office identical questionnaires in order to compile candidate profiles prior to the April election. Each candidate who returned the survey will be featured on the site.
Tom Peters, 46
- Address: 7025 Maryland Ave.
- Occupation: Adjunct biology professor at Washington University and St. Louis Community College-Forest Park.
- Education: B.S. and M.S. from Northern Illinois University; Ph.D. from University of Kansas-Medical Center
- Family: Partner is Terry Crow and children are Gracie (Flynn Park Elementary) and William (Churchill)
- Years Lived in the School District of University City: 14
- Public Service: I am a two term incumbent (Two years as President and one year as Vice President). I started by serving on a long range planning committee seven years ago and worked hard with community to pass Prop U in 2009. I have served on Special School District Governing Council, Missouri School Board delegate committee, Cooperating School District Legislative Committee and represented every school as a board liaison. I am currently on board finance committee and University City /TIF/ Commission. I have also served on the Martin Luther King Award committee and a number of other committees over the past six years.
I am seeking re-election to help continue our gains over the last six years and continue making our schools better. I want to help foster more increases in academic achievement for every student and help pass a new no-tax-increase bond issue in April 2013 to continue building renovations in our schools. We also have to do a better job of communicating the incredible successes our students are achieving in University City. Finally, I would like to help expand a quality early childhood education program for all of our students.
What do you see as the biggest issue facing the School District of University City?
We have a balanced budget plan through 2015-16, full accreditation through fall 2015 and we have made progress on long overdue work on 100 year old buildings. What we need to do first and foremost is continue improving rigor and academic opportunities for all of our children to be successful in the real world beyond high school.
In what area does School District of University City need to improve? Are you satisfied with the way the district has been operating?
We really have to better communicate what is happening in our schools to all of our residents, families and surrounding community. This starts with a comprehensive communications plan and updating our strategies to meet the needs of University City families and residents. I am very happy with the progress our school district has made in the last six years and know that we still have a lot of work to do to make this a destination school district.
In what areas do you intend to participate in the district outside of school board meetings?
I will continue my normal school board liaison and committee work as a board member. I will also continue to serve on countywide and statewide committees as needed. I will continue to stay very closely connected to our legislative leaders at the local, state and federal levels to help our district be prepared for changes or to proactively seek more opportunities for our children.
Please share your feelings on the Prop U bond issue - if you are in favor or against it, and why.
I am in favor of Prop U because our children deserve more than the shorter-term approaches to repairs that our district has provided on our almost 100-year-old buildings. The technology and academic programs that drive the need for Prop U funds, while remaining as a zero tax rate increase for residents, are a perfect combination for our schools, community and property values.
Assume you win election. What single thing do you want to accomplish during your term on the board.
As an incumbent I would like to remind people that school boards are an integral part of a school district when they listen to the community and educators, establish policies and review programs. A clear focus, good communication and a team approach are critical for a board to operate effectively and promote excellence in academic achievement.
I am incredibly proud of the University City School District and the great changes that have been made in the last six years. I would like your support on April 2 so that I can work with my fellow board members to help continue our progress for all of our children.