(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The CEO of American Business and Technology University in St. Joseph wants to use his background in business and higher education to make a difference in the local community.
"My interest in participating in the future of our community started with the city council, and then as I quickly realized that a lot of our core issues really stem from what I believe is the core of our community - which is the school district and our schools," Lute Atieh, School Board of Education candidate, said. "Until we can right the ship there, we'll be competing for resources and time."
Atieh hopes to be elected for one of three open Board of Education seats for the St. Joseph School District against six other candidates.
He said while he hopes to appeal to every generation of voters, he feels he represents a younger demographic.
"I think that with the city council race as well, we're starting to see a younger group is participating. We do care about our future and our community, and we want to stay in this community and we want our peers to stay in this community," Atieh said.
When it comes to school board issues, Atieh said one of his biggest concerns is the $8 million in budget cuts currently facing the school district.
"We need to be efficient, but we need to raise money for the school district," Atieh said. "We're cutting some core programs that we won't feel the impact of for ten to fifteen years, and then that group will look back and those community individuals and leaders are going to look back and ask what happened? And, it's happening right now."
Atieh said he grew up in the city and Stewartsville, and as a high school graduate from St. Joseph he hopes to be a part of the generation to bring the school district into the future.
"I ask that you vote for me because of my ability to bring balance discussion, to ask questions, to evaluate and investigate things and, you know, perhaps try and bring people together," Atieh said.
The other six Board candidate profiles can be found at KQ2.com. The general election will take place on April 3rd.