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Hard Work. Grit. Real Missouri Values.
Karla learned the value of hard work from an early age. She and her siblings were raised by a single mother who worked every job she could find – including factory worker, nurse, and truck driver – and never accepted gifts or government subsidies. Karla’s mother taught her by example to always keep her word and work hard because no one owed her anything.
Karla’s family moved often and for a short time they were without a home. This resulted in Karla missing school for almost a year – an experience that further instilled in her an appreciation for education. Like her siblings, Karla worked throughout high school to help pay for rent, utilities, and food – all while keeping up her grades and playing sports.
With $20 to her name, and $5 of that spent on gas to get there, Karla was accepted to College of the Ozarks - known as “Hard Work U.” Karla worked her way through a bachelor’s degree without ever borrowing money or receiving any loans. She went on to receive a master’s in elementary administration, a specialist degree in school finance and law, and a doctorate degree in educational leadership and policy analysis.
Later, both her daughters graduated from College of the Ozarks and Karla was recently appointed to the College Board.
Karla worked as a teacher, principal, and then as the first woman Superintendent in Ava R-1 School District. She later became Superintendent of West Plains R-7.
After serving a decade as a superintendent, Karla became the Assistant Commissioner of the Missouri Department of Education where she worked hard to streamline systems. After leaving, Karla worked as Senior Education Analyst for Applied Engineering Management.
In 2018, Karla ran and was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives. She sits on the Elementary and Secondary Education and Workforce Development committees. Karla and her husband, David, have been married 38 years, own a small business and have two daughters, Chelsey Gilmore and Katy Chapman, who are both teachers.
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NO to Higher Taxes, YES to Greater Accountability
Karla won’t support higher taxes on families; instead, she will demand better management of government agencies. Most programs currently passed by the legislature are automatically funded every year forever without ever reviewing if the program is effective, accountable, or even needed. She supports mandatory reviews of all current government programs and requiring sunsets on any new programs passed by the legislature.