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Candidates Vie for STLCC Board of Trustees Seat

Voters will go to the polls on April 3 to elect local officials to represent their communities.

St. Louis Community College will have five candidates on the ballot for the Subdistrict 1 seat on the Board of Trustees. Subdistrict 1 includes the Hazelwood, Ferguson-Florissant, Riverview Gardens, Jennings, Pattonville, Ritenour, University City, Normandy, Clayton and Ladue school districts.

The Subdistrict 1 seat is currently held by Doris Graham, Ph.D., who was elected to the seat in 2012 and is seeking reelection. In addition to Graham, the candidates are Marsha Bonds, Theodis Brown Sr., Joy Elliott and Lonetta Oliver, Ph.D.

Serving on the Board
St. Louis Community College’s Board of Trustees represent four subdistricts of the College’s service area. Members are elected periodically by district voters for six-year terms.

There are seven trustees – six are elected and one is appointed by the Missouri Coordinating Board of Higher Education. The appointed trustee also serves a six-year term.

The job of the board is to represent the public in determining and requiring appropriate organizational performance and to focus efforts on responsibilities such as:

  • selection of the chancellor
  • fiduciary governance
  • adequate financial support such as oversight of the annual budget process; and
  • compliance with all applicable federal, state and local mandates.

All candidates who are interested in a board seat must file a Declaration of Candidacy within the timeframe announced by the College prior to an election. To qualify as a candidate, you must be a resident voter in the district and subdistrict; be at least 21 years of age; be a resident voter of your election district for at least one year preceding the election for which you are filing as a candidate; and be a citizen of the United States, whether by birth or naturalization.

Subdistrict 1 Candidates

Marsha Bonds

Marsha Bonds
Marsha Bonds of Florissant is a program director for New Hope Consumer Directed Services LLC. Bonds hopes to assist in developing policy that would enable the institution to better serve students, staff and the community.

Bonds is an adjunct faculty member at St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley, and is the former director of North County CARES at STLCC-Florissant Valley. She also has served as the director of Welfare to Work for Area Resources for Community and Human Services.

She served on the St. Louis County Productive Living Board for nine years.

Bonds holds a master’s degree in organizational communication from Saint Louis University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in corporate and industrial communication from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She is a graduate of St. Louis Community College.

Theodis Brown Sr.

Theodis Brown Sr.
Theodis Brown Sr. of north St. Louis County currently is the chief of the Castlepoint Fire Protection Association, and a trustee and retired sergeant-at-arms officer of the Castlepoint Community Association.
He was elected to the board in 2014, and resigned the post in 2015.

Brown is a former St. Louis County Government paralegal and a retired state abuse and neglect lead investigator who also serves as a St. Ferdinand Township Committeeman.

Brown graduated from the St. Louis Police Academy in 1970 and formerly served as the chief of police and fire marshal in Kinloch. He is a 1977 graduate from the St. Louis Major Case Squad Police Detective Academy. He is a member of the Missouri Peace Officers Association, the Missouri State Investigators Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the St. Louis Police Veterans Association.

Brown graduated from the St. Louis Fire Academy in 1978 and is a member of the Fire Marshal Association of Missouri. In 2008, Brown completed a six-hour State Certified Fire and Rescue Training Institute with the University of Missouri-Columbia. A freelance paralegal who studied at the Blackstone School of Law, Brown is also a member of the National Paralegal Association.

A graduate of Sumner High School, Brown is also a member of the Alumni Association of St. Louis Community College.

Doris Graham. Ph.D.

Doris Graham, Ph.D.
Doris A. Graham, Ph.D., of north St. Louis County, retired in 2005 from her position as assistant principal at Ames Visual and Performing Arts Elementary School in St. Louis. Graham worked at Saint Louis Public Schools for 38 years. She currently serves on the St. Louis Community College Board of Trustees as board chair, and is an associate member of the Diversity Committee of the Association of Community College Trustees.

During her tenure with Saint Louis Public Schools, Graham was a classroom teacher, remedial reading specialist and co-host of an after-school radio program. She also served as an administrator during summer school.

Graham served on the Ferguson-Florissant School District Board for 23 years. During that time, Ferguson-Florissant was recognized twice as a district of distinction by the Missouri School Boards Association.

“I am seeking this seat because I want to continue to give back to my community,” Graham said. “I love to volunteer and help others to become the best that they can be, especially in the educational arena. I know how to collaborate with fellow Board members to positively meet the goals and objectives of St. Louis Community College. I believe higher education should be available to all students, and I will work hard to that end.”

Among the recognitions that Graham has received for service, she has been honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the St. Louis Teachers Union, the Legacy Award for Community Service from the National Council of Negro Women Inc. Gateway Metropolitan Section, and the Legacy Award from the St. Louis Argus. She was recognized by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority as one of its Women Making a Difference honoree.
Graham is an associate minister at her church, is involved in sorority activities and served on the Berkeley Senior Citizens Commission.

She earned a doctorate in educational administration and superintendency from Saint Louis University, a master’s degree in elementary administration and principalship from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Harris Teachers College. She has master of arts in pastoral studies from the Aquinas Institute of Theology.

Joy Elliott
Joy Elliott asked to be removed from the ballot after STLCC filed its list of board candidates. Potential candidates do have the option to remove themselves from consideration for election. For full transparency, Elliott is included in the STLCC Board of Trustees candidates list because her name may appear on the ballot.

Lonetta Oliver, Ph.D.

Lonetta Oliver, Ph.D.
Lonetta Oliver, Ph.D., has served as program director of English and literature at the American Public University system since June 2017.

Oliver taught as an associate professor of English at St. Louis Community College for nine years and at St. Charles Community College for two and a half years.

She has never held an elected position. She earned her doctorate in English from Saint Louis University.

Her reason for seeking office is: “I truly believe that there should be more student, faculty and community-centered members of the board who have worked in higher education, preferably as faculty members. I am disturbed by some of the national and regional trends I have been witnessing with regard to treatment of students, faculty and free speech, especially since ALL of the recent studies linking student retention and graduation tie faculty retention and student involvement in the lists of institutional initiatives that positively impact student retention and graduation rates.”

Oliver received both the Adria Award for Women in Leadership and the Florissant Valley Innovation of the Year Award for Women Helping Women in 2017. She is a member of several professional organizations, including service as a Higher Learning Commission peer reviewer and on the National Council on Black American Affairs.