By Kathleen Swift • Photos by Savanah Mandeville
Dad and I are each our own person, and sometimes we agree on issues and sometimes we don’t. It’s still great to look over and see him sitting a couple of chairs down from me at the school board meetings.”
Kasey Cowger is a first-term school board member at Carl Junction, and his dad, Larry Cowger, is serving his seventh term on the same school board. This father and son both love serving the community of Carl Junction.
“Dad was on the school board when I was a kid in high school,” said Kasey. “Now, I have a wife who is a teacher and four kids in the schools. I saw the good things happening in the school system and wanted to serve. It’s important to be involved in the future of all of our kids.”
Serving for 18 years, and currently serving his third term as school board president, Larry was active in high school athletics and said, “I think serving on the school board is the civic thing to do. Carl Junction is a great community, and I want to serve the people here.”
One of the things Larry and Kasey are most proud of in their service to the Carl Junction schools most recently is the addition of a new playground at the elementary and intermediate schools. The new Power of Play area allows students with disabilities to be able to play, too.
“The playground will be accessible to all of our students,” said Kasey.
For Larry, one the biggest changes he has seen over the years, in addition to increasing the use of technology in the schools, is the addition of storm shelters in every building.
“No student has to go outside to find shelter,” said Larry. “We’ve used the shelters this school year when there was a tornado warning for our city. It’s important to keep our students and staff safe.”
Kasey agrees. “The kids themselves are the most important part of our schools. We feel we have the best education system in the area and want to continue that tradition.”
Another tradition Larry and Kasey share is broadcasting the Carl Junction football games. On game night, you’ll find them in the press box. Larry has been broadcasting for 23 years, and Kasey has been a part of the effort for nine years. Now Kasey’s son, Gavin, often joins the pair and has a keen eye for the plays and the calls made on the field.
Larry has two other sons, Shane and Bryan, who join him and Kasey in playing golf together. The three usually have an extended golf outing each year and plan to play in Hot Springs Village later this year with 12 other men.
“It will be fun to be with them, but it can wear me out, too. I tell the boys that we are spending their inheritance while I am alive to make the memories with them,” laughed Larry.