The Pryor Times

Local News

February 7, 2011

Three vie for Chouteau School Board seat one

— Three candidates are running for an open seat on the Chouteau School Board. Candidates are Cliff Orcutt, James Grossman and Keith Lunsford.

Orcutt, 40, is running for the second time. He said his goal is to focus on whatever is best for the students.

Orcutt, a father of five, has two children in the Chouteau school system, an eighth-grader and a sixth-grader, along with a three-year-old and two-year-old twin boys.

“Next year I’ll have three kids in school up there,” he said.

Orcutt’s family has been in Chouteau a long time. His grandmother graduated from Mazie and both of his parents graduated from Chouteau High School. Orcutt graduated with the class of 1988.

“You can only do so much as a parent,” he said. “I’m just trying to get more involved.”

Orcutt said he would like to see academics and athletics brought to a higher level. Orcutt feels the school is a great institution, but he said it can be improved.

“You can never be perfect, but you can always get better,” he said.

Orcutt said he appreciates the teachers and staff who really care about students. “They do a marvelous job,” he said. “They all need to work together for the betterment of the kids.”

Orcutt feels there should be more communication between the school board and the public.

“I want them to know, if you got a problem, call me.”

Orcutt said the people need to know the good things that are happening at school. He said one teacher really helped bring up test scores for her students.

Orcutt is employed at Airgas in the MidAmerica Industrial Park, where he works in sales. He has been married to his wife, Amie, for 17 years.

James Grossman, a small business owner, wants to see things improve at Chouteau Schools.

“Just been sitting back watching all the negative things happen, watching all the kids go to better schools and figured it’s my time to do something about it,” he said.

Grossman has two children in Chouteau Schools, a son in third grade and a daughter in seventh grade. He is a lifetime resident of Chouteau and graduated in 1988.

Grossman’s father, Pat Grossman, served on the school board for nearly 30 years. His mother Karen Grossman retired from Pryor Schools as a teacher.

Grossman wants to see test scores go up and athletics improve. He wants the school facilities to be better maintained. “Maybe get new ones,” he said.

Grossman said he would like to see principals monitor teachers to ensure they are doing their jobs. “They’re all capable,” he said.

Grossman has owned Grosssman Machine, his production machine shop, for five years. He has 20 years’ experience in his line of business. Grossman does runs for big companies and repairs for local farmers, the county district and the city.

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