Missouri Public School Advocates Launch

We have been working closely with the Missouri Public School Advocates for several months now. We designed their website and currently help run their Facebook and Twitter accounts. Today, we were thrilled to help them officially launch their organization to the media with the following press release:


Distinguished Missouri Educators Form Advocacy Organization to Support Missouri Public Schools

(Jefferson City, Mo.) March 6, 2013 — Based on recent census data, 85 to 90 percent of children enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade in Missouri attend public schools. And yet, the public schools are in constant danger of being underfunded.

The Missouri Public School Advocates was founded to be a strong advocate for those students and schools, inform the public about threats to public education funding and to tell the success stories of Missouri’s public schools. For example, ACT scores and high school graduation rates in Missouri are going up, while the dropout rate is steadily declining.

Missouri Public School Advocates is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure the stability and strength of Missouri public schools. It was formed by a group of distinguished Missouri educators.

The Missouri Public School Advocates Board of Directors is comprised of:

  • Gary Sharpe, President, former Executive Director of the Missouri Council of School Administrators
  • Jim Ritter, Vice-President, retired Columbia Public Schools Superintendent
  • Peggy Cochran, Secretary, former Missouri National Education Association Executive Director
  • Carole Kennedy, Treasurer, former President of the National Association of Elementary School Principals
  • Orlo Shroyer, former Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Dan Colgan, retired St. Joseph Public Schools Superintendent
  • Jim Kreider, former Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives and current Executive Director of the Missouri Retired Teachers Association
  • John Cary, current St. Louis Special School District Superintendent
  • Jim Dunn, former President of the National School Public Relations Association
  • Tom Cummings, retired North Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent
  • Sara Lampe, former teacher and principal, former state representative from Springfield, and advocate for at-risk students
  • Carl Peterson, businessman and former school board member in Ferguson-Florissant School District
  • Sue Magruder, former elementary school teacher and college educator

Sharpe states, “The association will recruit members throughout the state of Missouri and is open to anyone who is a supporter of the public schools.  We plan to tell the public the story about the achievements of Missouri public schools and the present crisis regarding state funding for public schools. We plan to advocate strongly for the state to support the public schools and to oppose the state’s involvement in the privatization of the delivery of education services to students through vouchers, charters, and tax credits. We are completely non-partisan but do plan to recruit public school supporters to run for public office.”

The organization is seeking opportunities to speak to interested groups to further explain their mission and to invite individuals to join. To contact Missouri Public School Advocates for a program or to become a member:

1) Call Gary Sharpe at 573-230-3388 or email at garydsharpe@gmail.com, or

2) Contact any member of the board, or

3) Visit the MPSA website at www.mopublicschooladvocates.org.