Bob Gruenewald

Bob Gruenewald

The Fox C-6 School District is expected to have a new Board of Education member next week.

Board members are scheduled to interview applicants and swear in a new member during an open meeting that starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 15, according to board documents.

Eight people have applied to fill the seat on the seven-member board that was left vacant when Bob Gruenewald resigned on May 19.

JP Prezzavento, Fox’s communication and instructional technology coordinator, said the applicants include:

■ Vicki Hanson, a former school board member who served as president before not being re-elected in April. She also retired from Fox in 2008 after serving as an assistant superintendent in charge of special education.

■ Todd Scott, who retired from the Fox district in 2019 after 25 years with the district. At the time, he was the principal at Seckman High School, and before that, he was an assistant superintendent.

■ Colleen Cole, who was the principal at Sherwood Elementary School from 2009 until her retirement in 2019. She started working for the Fox district in 1992 as a teacher and served as an assistant principal and special education teacher before becoming principal.

■ Travis Lintner of Fenton, who ran unsuccessfully for a Fox school board seat in April. He is a drafting manager at G Lighting and a 2002 Fox High School graduate, according to a Leader election survey he filled out.

■ Colton Kruep, who ran unsuccessfully for a school board seat in 2020. He works in the internal audit department at U.S. Bank, according to a survey he filled out in 2020.

■ Rick Lamborn, who ran unsuccessfully for a Fox school board seat in April. He works as a distribution manager at Joyce Meyer Ministries, according to his Leader election survey.

■ Jim Osia, who has run unsuccessfully several times for a Fox school board seat, most recently in April. He works at True Manufacturing, according to his survey.

■ Andrew Helgeson, who ran unsuccessfully for a Fox school board seat in 2019. He is an information technology specialist for Brown and James PC, according to an election survey he filled out.

Gruenewald was elected to the school board last June after the April election was postponed two months because of COVID-19, and his term on the board was to end in April 2023.

The person who’s appointed to fill the vacancy will serve until the next April election.

Gruenewald, in his resignation letter, said school board policy required him to relinquish his seat in order for his “family members to have the opportunity to seek future advancement within their career, for which they have worked diligently.”

Gruenewald’s daughter, Heather Schwalbe, who was a guidance counselor at Fox High School, has since been promoted to assistant principal at the school. The board voted 4-0 in a June 1 closed meeting to promote her, with board members Krystal Hargis and Michelle Chamberlain abstaining from the vote.

According to the school board’s nepotism policy, no person will be hired or appointed to a position in the district if the person is related within the fourth degree to a school board member, superintendent, assistant superintendent or any person with rank equal to an assistant superintendent. However, if a person already was a district employee when his or her relative was elected to the board, that employee may continue employment and be hired for extra-duty positions or may be allowed to change positions in the district as long as the change is not considered a promotion.

Relatives of the fourth degree include parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, great-great-grandparents, spouse, children, siblings, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews, aunts, uncles, great-aunts, great-uncles and first cousins by blood relationship or marriage.

According to the Leader election survey Gruenewald completed before last year’s school board election, he also is related to two other Fox employees – his son-in-law, Patrick Schwalbe, a principal at Ridgewood Middle School; and his daughter, Lindsay Gruenewald, a teacher at Clyde Hamrick Elementary School.

Bob Gruenewald, who retired from the district after working as a teacher, coach, principal and assistant superintendent, said he didn’t think having family members working for the district would be a conflict when he ran for the board seat.

“This did not seem to be a problem at the time of the decision to run for the board seat; however, the issue has become more prevalent,” he said in his resignation letter.

Board members were expected to receive copies of the applications for the vacant seat on Monday so they would have time to review them.

To be eligible to serve on the board, applicants must be at least 24 years old; must be a U.S. citizen; must have lived in Missouri for at least a year; must be a Fox district resident and taxpayer; must not be delinquent on any state income taxes, personal property taxes, municipal taxes or real property taxes on their home, and if applicants were a past or present corporate officer of any fee office, that office cannot be delinquent on any state taxes.

In addition, applicants must not have been guilty of a felony under federal or Missouri law or under another state law that would be considered a felony in Missouri. Applicants may not be registered or required to be registered as a sex offender under state law. Applicants also must have filed all required campaign disclosure reports with the Missouri Ethics Commission, when applicable, for all previous elections in which they were a candidate.