Governor Parson visited the students and teachers at Ozark West Elementary today to talk about education and praise the students for their hard work during the school year.
The governor was jovial with the students, even pointing out two students who were related to him and joking that all the kids had to be nice to them “or you’ll face the entire weight of the Missouri state government on you.”
The governor did turn serious for a few minutes, talking to the students about how he works to make sure the teachers and administrators in Missouri’s public schools get the things they need to help the kids learn. He talked multiple times about the impact teachers had on his life.
“I didn’t know when I was your age and sat on bleachers like you are in school that I would one day be the Governor of Missouri,” Parson said. “The reason I’m telling you this is because you never know where life is going to take you. But I do know this much: I would not be Governor of the state of Missouri if not for the teachers I had and the influence when I was your age. If they didn’t help me get started in life, I would never have been Governor of Missouri.”
The first lady of Missouri spoke to the kids about a honeybee that flies around the mansion and has become their “official mascot.” The “bee” posts photos of the mansion on social media. She invited the kids to check out the website so they could learn more about the governor’s mansion and state history.
The governor spoke to OI about the importance of education to prepare kids for the workforce.
“I think the schools here in southwest Missouri do an excellent job preparing our kids for the future,” Parson said. “I’m proud to say I’m from this part of the state and see the dedication our teachers and administrators have for our children.”
State Representative Lynn Morris was also in attendance at the event and addressed school funding issues.
“In southwest Missouri, all of our schools from Missouri State to OTC to our high schools, our junior high schools and elementary schools, the tradition in Jefferson City has been that they get less funding from the state than other areas,” Morris said. “And really, we have the best schools in southwest Missouri. There are great schools in other places in the state, but if you look at what is accomplished for the funding they receive, we have the best schools in southwest Missouri. I’m extremely proud of the schools in southwest Missouri.”