Bartlett School Board Candidates
Dr. William J. (Bill) Busler, 67, retired CBU chemistry professor (professor emeritus) and partner in Millionaire Properties, LLC (real estate investments)
Ph.D. in biochemistry from University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis
Family: Karen D. Busler, principal flutist of Memphis Symphony Orchestra
Organizations: Memphis Astronomical society (since 1957); board of directors (since 1959), former planetarium director at Memphis Pink Palace Museum; installed Sharpe Planetarium and Minolta projector, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church and area representative of Davies Plantation Homeowners Association
Most pressing issues: selection of a great superintendent, negotiating for custody of existing Bartlett school buildings and overseeing a smooth transition and opening the Bartlett schools in August 2013
“I have more than 50 years of experience in serving (including presiding) on numerous boards, more than 40 years in education (teaching), and 25 years of preparing budgets and overseeing operational staffs.”
Jeff Norris, 35, director of admission and data services at Rhodes College, B.S. Business Administration, University of Arkansas
Family: Stephanie (wife), Lily Beth (10 year old daughter, 5th grade at Altruria Elementary), Hutch (7 year old son, 2nd grade at Altruria Elementary)
Most pressing issues: Hiring the right superintendent for our school system, negotiating the transition with the current Shelby County School Board, and working within the given timeline puts and undue amount of stress on the situation that we currently face.
“My professional role allows me to maintain a national perspective on high schools that no other candidate can bring to the table. During my 11 years at Rhodes College I have had the opportunity to be involved in a major reorganization project that spanned nearly two years in which we were compelled to look for innovative solutions to improve an institution that was not broken but looking to do things better.”
Position 2 (unopposed)
Erin Elliott Berry, 32, accounts receivable/administrative assistant at Camco Roofing Supplies (employed 11 ½ years), 1998 graduate of Bartlett High School, Southwest Tennessee Community College, University of Memphis
Family: Brett (husband, married 10 ½ years) and two children, Joshua (7) and Lucas (4).
Organizations: PTA, Bartlett Youth Soccer, NE Shelby Republican Club Member, and serve on the Bartlett Education Advisory Committee.
Most pressing issues: Buildings, superintendent and budget.
“As a Bartlett citizen and a mother with children in school I have a true concern for the children and the education they deserve. I will also use my accounting skills to help set budgets and my organizational skills to se that he schools will be run in a proper manner.”
James (Jay) Culpepper, 33, Memphis police officer, BA in sociology from Mississippi State University
Family: Dana Culpepper (wife of five years), four-year-old son and a 21-month-old daughter
Organizations: Active member of Bellevue Baptist Church, member of the Memphis Police Association and Fraternal Order of the Police
Most pressing issues: Working with the school’s budget, ensuring that the children continue to get a great, local education by hiring the best teaching staff and administration possible and correctly assessing the needs of the growing school district.
“Being a police officer gives me the unique perspective regarding school security and government workings. But I feel my greatest motivation for being a great school board member are my children. I will do anything to ensue that they have the best education.”
Shirley Jackson, 64, retired from Memphis City Schools, University of Memphis graduate, BSE, Masters in Education, 45 years in school administration and supervision.
Family: Married to Jim Jackson for 43 years, two sons Bryan Jackson and Kevin Jackson. Kevin is married to Michelle O’Kelly Jackson and has 3 children-Parker, Caden and Braylin.
Organizations: Member of Bellevue Baptist Church, volunteer for Better Bartlett Schools, and currently serving on Bartlett Education Advisory Committee.
Most pressing issues: Hiring a superintendent, setting school policy, and acquiring the buildings needed to house Bartlett students.
“Educational background, 36 years experience in the school system, working knowledge of school structure and operation, collaboration between vendor and school system to create and implement student date information system, strong desire to see the very best for all Bartlett children and good working relationships with administration, principals, teacher and parents.”
Donald Gregory, 56, Shelby County Government, correction (civil service employee), reserve police officer with the Memphis Police Department
Family: Married 21 years, 4 adult children
Organizations: adjunct instructor, University of Phoenix, ITT tech, member of St. Ann Parish-Bartlett, American Society for Public Administration, American Correctional Association, Better Business Bureau-business member, National Rifle Association-life member, owner-USA Training Academy-State of Tennessee handgun permits, State of Tennessee private protective services instructor, State of Tennessee Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA) instructor and Police Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) firearms instructor.
Most pressing issues: Hiring an effective school superintendent, creating policy for the sound operation of the Bartlett school district, and public accountability requirement for the school board providing oversight, adopting standards and assessing progress toward the accomplishment of key objectives.
“I feel I possess the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary of a school board member. I have a passion to see excellence in our school system as well as the academic background for the public administration of this position. I have taught in a training academy setting as well as institutions of higher learning. I have gained some valuable insight into what attributes are necessary to provide leadership to the Bartlett Municipal Schools. I come to this position with open eyes, open ears and an open mind.
Donald Bryan Woodruff, 38, Technology and supply chain professional, Bachelor of Science in business administration, Christian Brothers University, Master of Business Administration, University of Memphis, Graduate Certificate in supply chain management, Penn State University.
Family: Parents live in Bartlett, married almost 14 years and has four children.
Organizations: Worked with, supported and volunteered for Bartlett Better Schools since 2011, Bartlett Education Advisory Committee/chairman of logistics subcommittee and advisor to finance subcommittee, associate member of the Business Continuity Institute, member of the Project Management Institute, member of the Institute of Supply Management, Internet Security Alliance member and LPBC member.
Most pressing issues: Finding an excellent superintendent, obtaining the school buildings from Shelby County and setting policies that will guide our school system to excellence, not just adequacy.
“In my nearly 20 years in business, focused on technology and supply chain management, I have built a strong reputation as an experienced, professional leader and negotiator. With my experience, we will be able to manage our operational costs that allow us to spend more of our tax dollars n actual education.”
David Cook, 43, Director of inventory and replenishment at AutoZone, BS in chemistry with ACS certification from Rhodes College in 1991; MBA with a concentration in production and operations management from the university of Memphis in 1994.
Family: Married to Emily for 20 years, two boys, 13 and 9 years old in the 8th and 4th grade respectively.
Organizations: Eagle scout, served two terms on the Vestry (board of directors) at St. Elisabeth’s Episcopal Church, junior warden (in charge of buildings and grounds) at St. Elisabeth’s, senior warden (chairman of the board) at St. Elisabeth’s leading the congregation through nearly a year long vacancy without a priest, chair of the building committee at St. Elisabeth’s, cub master and various other positions in Cub Scout Pack 255, assistant scoutmaster of Troop 255.
Most pressing issues: Hiring a qualified superintendent, setting appropriate, lawful policies, with additions to reflect the needs of our local system, and creating a lean, yet effective organizational structure for the Bartlett school system to maximize the value proposition for Bartlett taxpayers and which will produce the best school system in Shelby County and the State.
“With a BS in Chemistry from Rhodes College, an MBA from the university of Memphis and nearly 20 years in the business world I have a unique balance of technical, analytical and business skills that suit me well to serve the citizens of Bartlett as a member of the school board.”
Rick Faith, 53,Owner/operator at the Hairem Hair Salon. High school and trade school graduate.
Family: Wife, Pennye, children, Christa, Tony, J.T. and Jessica, and one grand child, Michaela
Most pressing issues: Hiring he superintendent, deciding what level of education to be offered, and selecting great educators.
“I served as a Bartlett alderman for 12 years. I voted on and worked on multi-million dollar budgets. I have a working knowledge and relationship with the current Bartlett Government and I have owned and operated my own business for 30 plus years.”
Randall “Randy” VanVoorhis, 44, Network Administrator for the Navy at Millington, AAS in IT from Southwest Tennessee Community College
Family: Married for 22 years to Kelley VanVoorhis; son John, 9 yrs old
Organizations: Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, Amateur Radio Relay League, Mid-South Amateur Radio Association (Past President-2yrs), Licensed Amateur Radio Operator (Call sign: W4RMV), National Rifle Association
Most pressing issues: Developing a fiscally responsible budget for the Bartlett City Schools, hiring the absolute best Superintendent possible, and ensuring that our kids receive the high quality education that they deserve.
“I have been researching school systems and educational processes for over 10 years. I knew that the time would come for Bartlett to create its own school system and I wanted to be prepared for the challenges we would face.”