Nine hopefuls are vying for one seat on the Board. Tucker is the only candidate with experience and knowledge regarding the unique needs of students with different abilities.
While the other candidates have all the expected positive credentials (and the usual ties to the public school system), Tucker’s candidacy stands out with her experience as an advocate for students, responsible spending, and educational oversight.
In this story in the Lee’s Summit Journal, Tucker’s mention is listed as simply: “Sherri Tucker, co-founder of the Lee’s Summit Autism Support Group. Tucker ran for the R-7 school board in 2008, arguing that the district was not providing adequate services for its special-needs children.”
Of course, with limited space, the publication cannot mention all of the accomplishments and activities Ms. Tucker has been involved with over the years (see below this post), that many Missourians have become aware of. All of it has been centered on helping others, ensuring that families with special needs are included in every aspect of our culture, from the legislature on down to every day issues, but always putting education at the forefront.
Sherri Tucker became a friend of our President Emily Malabey several years ago. Malabey had this to say about Ms. Tucker:
“I first knew Sherri was going to be a great ally and friend when I heard she had both angered and impressed some powerful people, including a few legislators. Sherri is fearless. She is on a mission and is unafraid to fight for what’s right. Sherri is one of the most honest and sincere people I have met, which is unfortunately a rarity in this world. I know firsthand that Sherri is talented, has a sharp attention to detail, consistent vigilance, and an advocate’s heart. One of the few but important ways we can improve our education system is by getting advocates for students into the systems so we can improve them from within. Our School Boards and administrations throughout the nation are severely lacking in student advocacy or a working knowledge and understanding of the needs for diverse student populations. Of course this means to include students with different abilities who have been neglected for far too long in the education system (despite laws that are in place to ensure otherwise). Sherri Tucker will be one promising anchor in the system to help ensure the system works for all students.”
According to Malabey and several others in the community, people have been asking Sherri Tucker for several years to run for public office. According to autistic advocate Mel Johnson, “She wants to be on the School Board but she is perfectly capable of running for higher offices as well. She cares about the kids in our schools and that is the kind of person everyone wants on the Board.”
Some say that her candidacy “is probably scaring the heck out of the establishment.” But it shouldn’t. By all accounts from several individuals who know or have worked with Tucker, she is “fair, easy to work with and a smart, thoughtful individual.”
According to Dan Brown, father and advocate, if the Board members are decided fairly (by what you know and not simply who you know), Tucker should have a good chance to begin advocating for students from the position of School Board member.
Sherri Tucker Accomplishments and Credentials:
Secretary and President of DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America)
Placed two years in a row at State Competition and went to National Competition for DECA
Secretary of OEA (Office Education Association)
Placed at State Competition for OEA
Treasurer of the Women’s Choir
Judge for Kansas DECA State Competition
Former Member of Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Special Education Advisory Panel
Chairperson for the Monitoring Committee of the SEAP
President and Cofounder of Lee’s Summit Autism Support Group
Cofounder MOAFAA (Missouri Advocates for Families Affected by Autism)
Member of the Circles of Support
Organized annual Resource Night for families affected by autism (Over 100 families and over 30 service providers attended)
Parent of two Lee’s Summit High School graduates
Former Board Member of the Hawks Ridge Homeowner’s Association
Parent Educator and Advocate
Works with legislators for positive changes in education
Visits Jefferson City to personally discuss legislation with legislators
Speaks with National legislators to discuss positive changes that need to be made and legislation that needs to be written
Works with other groups in Missouri on education issues
Works with, and consults for, national special needs and educational organizations