Three Vie For Two Seats On Warsaw R-IX School Board

Anita Campbell
County Reporter

 The Warsaw R-9 School Board certified the Board election on January 22  with the following candidates on the ballot:  Michael Schockmann, Brandy Fajen, and Rickie Caswell.

 A life time Benton County resident, Michael Schockmann graduated from Warsaw High School in 1990.   He later attended Missouri State and then transferred to the University of Central Missouri where he played football for the Mules.
Schockmann, an All-State Football player, married Deanna Gemes in 1993.
Michael and Deanna are the parents of three children:  Lydia, 19, a freshman at the University of Central Missouri; Madeline, 15, a sophomore at WHS and Logan, 12, a seventh grader at John Boise Middle School.
Schockmann is self employed as a construction worker and farmer.
Schockmann is also a member of the First United Methodist Church of Warsaw where he serves on the Board of Trustees.
Schockmann said he was running for the Board because he thinks he can bring positive change to the R-9 District.
“I felt like I was well prepared to continue my education at the University,” Schockmann said.  “I never felt disadvantaged because I attended a small, rural school, but I am not sure the school is at the same level as when I was a student.  The high school I attended did not have the turnover of the staff that I have noticed in recent years.  There has to be a reason we are not retaining teachers.”
Schockmann said he was concerned that all students, not just his own children, received a quality education which would prepare them for a good job.
An incumbent on the Warsaw Board of Education, Rickie Caswell has served her first term and is running for re-election. 
Caswell graduated from Lincoln High School in 1993 and attended the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg.
Caswell and Dwayne Davis are the parents of two sons, Logan, 16, a junior at WHS and Cash, 9, a Warsaw North School student.
Caswell started the Edwards Jones office in Warsaw ten years ago and is very involved in community activities such as the Warsaw Chamber of Commerce Board and the Warsaw Athletic Booster Club.
Caswell is running for re-election because she wants to improve the Warsaw school system and attract teachers who want to come to Warsaw to teach.
“I believe we are headed in the right direction but there is much more to do,” said Caswell.  Caswell is concerned about the conditions of school building as well as pushing for improvements in the academic areas.
Brandy Fajen is finishing her first term on the Board and is running for re-election to finish what she has begun. 
“I want our students to be college ready when they leave high school,” said Fajen.  “We need to work together as a school district to do what is in the best interest of our children.”
Fajen graduated from Holden High School in 1996 and attended State Fair Community College.  She and her husband David Fajen have been married since 2000 and are the parents of Trevor, 19, a student at Ozark Technical College; Kylee, 15, a student at WHS; Tyler, 10, a Warsaw North School student and Trinity, 4.  At the present time Brandy and David have a foster daughter in their home.  Over the past 10 years, the Fajens have fostered 27 children in their home.
Fajen also is the owner of Children’s Palace, a day care facility in Warsaw.
 In addition to working with the children in Children’s Palace, Fajen is an active member of Warsaw PTC, the Benton County Early Education Childhood Development Foundation, Fajen Foundation, Benton County Youth Coalition, 30th Circuit Foster Parent Support Group, River Church and River Church Youth ministry.
Fajen believes the Warsaw R-9 District has turned a corner and is heading in the right direction as a district.  “We need to make sure all our grade levels are working on the core curriculum,” said Fajen.  “I am a very strong willed person and I am not afraid to ask the tough questions to make sure we are doing whatever we need to make Warsaw the best school it can be.”
Fajen said that she is a hands on Board member in that she helps out wherever she can.  “I am not above sweeping the floor and washing dishes at any event the school sponsors,” Fajen said.  “I want to be involved in every activity that I can be.”
The Warsaw R-9 School Board election will be held April 3.