Meet the Candidates for Knox County R-1 School Board

Scroll down to see the video and text interviews of each 2021 KCR-1 School Board Candidate.

Dr. Martha A. Strange

Q: Who are you and what is your background?

A: Well, I’m Marty Strange and I moved to Knox County in 1991 to be a teacher here. And since that time I’ve been heavily involved in the education system, taught a lot of different kids a lot of different things and had a number of roles out at the school. Currently right now, I teach at Truman but I’m still very interested in what goes on in our county and in our community and at our school. So I’m very excited to run for school board so I can give back to the community that has given me so much through letting me educate their children and that’s just me.

Q: Why are you running for school board and what is your vision?

A: I have a lot of unique perspectives because I’ve been so heavily involved in the school over the years. I see things from different viewpoints as a taxpayer, as a parent, as a grandparent, as a community member, you know, involved in this county. And, my vision for the school is that it is going to prepare our kids to be productive citizens in this community and other communities, and prepare them for life. So my vision is to make sure I can help support that if possible by being on the school board.

Q: What makes you a good choice?

A: Probably I would say my commitment to kids. Anybody that knows me knows that children, and students, and kids of all ages really – are my core. That’s where my heart lies. That’s what I want to be involved with and they just mean so much tome. I once had a former educator tell me that our students are our future and they are. So, in my long-term plan you know I’m going to rely on some of those people that are being educated out there to take care of me in my old age as I plan to be in Knox County for a long time. So, my vision is to help them be the best that they can be.

Q: Is there anything you want voters to know about yourself that I haven’t asked about?

A: I would like voters to know that I’m a pretty thoughtful person that takes lots of different things into consideration before making a decision, and I have strong roots in the community. I mean I have lived here since I got out of college, and Knox means an awful lot to me. So, that’s what I want people to know.

 

Mrs. Albert (Deborah) Hagerla

Q: Who are you and what is your background?

A: I was born and raised in Iowa and I came to Kirksville and attended college at what is now Truman University and got my BS in Education. I started teaching and ended up in Knox County in 1976 and taught there until I retired. So, my background is all in education and kids.

Q: Why are you running for school board and what is your vision?

A: I think I probably have one of the purest reasons for running, and that’s because I love our school. I taught at the old elementary school. We were all involved with the planning for the new elementary, and it’s like you put your blood, sweat, and tears into it. And I did daycare as well as teach in summer school so there were actually some years I was spending my waking hours at school more than I was at home.

So I love our school, and I love what they’re doing, and I just would like to be a part of that future.

Q: What makes you a good choice?

A: I could say my education makes me the best choice, but not really. We have other candidates with education as well. I think it’s the love of the school and wanting to do what’s best for our school, and hopefully I’ll have something to add to that.

Q: Is there anything you want voters to know about yourself that I haven’t asked about?

No. Not really. I just hope you know that I’m serious about this. I really want to do it and would appreciate

Dr. Karisha Vaughn Devlin

Q: Who are you and what is your background?

A: My name is Karisha Devlin, and I am a transplant to Knox County. I actually grew up in Mississippi and I moved here for a job with University of Missouri Extension and I’ve been living in Knox County for, oh gosh, about 18 years now. And, after I lived in Missouri for about a year I ended up marrying Dan Devlin. A lot of you are probably familiar with Dan because he is a long-time resident of Knox County.

I still work for the University of Missouri Extension as an Agribusiness Specialist and I’ve had opportunity through Extension to get involved in a lot of the local community groups and I enjoy being involved in the community. We’re invested in this community. My husband is a farmer. We’re going to be here for the rest of our lives, and our children will be raised and hopefully come back to Knox County.

Q: Why are you running for school board and what is your vision?

A: I mentioned earlier that I really feel strongly about being involved in my community, and I’m very invested in our school district because I have two children in elementary. And, education is a passion of mine. I’ve been involved during my career in higher education, mainly continuing education for adults, but I feel really strongly about supporting our students and helping them for their lives after high school – whether that’s helping them to be prepared for college, or to join the workforce, or to go into some sort of trade school – and whatever we can do to properly prepare them for those next steps.

And I also want to work for teacher retention. I think that’s really important for consistency in our schools and in our learning environment. So, helping to support teachers, hopefully cultivate teachers that are here in Knox County, and people that want to stay and be involved in our community.

Q: What makes you a good choice?

A: Well, what makes me a good choice? I like being involved in things and if I say I’m going to show up and do it, I will show up and do it. So that’s part of it. I do have some experience being on a board, because I’ve been involved in a lot of different professional activities and then personal community activities. And, I’m fiscally responsible. And, I really do have that passion for not only education, as I’ve already mentioned, but also for the children that we have in our county.

Q: Is there anything you want voters to know about yourself that I haven’t asked about?

A: I’ve already been a huge supporter of our school district. I think that it’s one of those things that our community kind of revolves around. It’s also a social outlet for a lot of us because we see each other at different games and different school functions, and I’ve always tried to be a supportive and active in PTO since my kids got into school. I help with the library when they’re selling books. When that comes, I volunteer at that. So, any chance that I have to give back to this community, that I have adopted and will live in for the rest of my life, I wanna do.