Board of Education

    Sharon Sherwood

    Sharon Sherwood, President

    Years of Service:  First elected 2008
    Term Ends:  2020
    District Email Address:  board.sherwood@platteco.k12.mo.us


    Sharon Sherwood was elected to the Platte County R-3 Board of Education in April of 2008. Her love for children and what is best for them, coupled with her background in education led to her interest in becoming a member of the Board of Education. She is a retired elementary principal, first serving thirteen years as an elementary music teacher, then serving for eleven years as an elementary principal, two of those years in the Mound City School District, and nine years in the Smithville R-2 School District.

    Sharon is a graduate of Platte County R-3, having earned her bachelor’s degree in Music Education K-12 from the University of Missouri, a master’s degree in Music Education from NWMSU, and an educational specialist degree is Elementary School Administration from NWMSU.  Sharon has also earned the Certified Board Member Designation, the Advanced Certification Award, and the Master Certification Award, bestowed by the Missouri School Board Association.

    Sharon and her husband have three adult children, two daughters-in-law, one son-in-law, and six grandchildren. One grandchild is a 2013 graduate of Platte County R-3 and is making his home in Platte City, and three others have been students in the district since kindergarten.  She loves spending time with her grandchildren, reading, learnding and supporting them, and attending their various activities. 

    As a board member, Sharon serves on the Long-Range Facilities Task Force, the district Professional Development Committee, the BioMed Advisory Committee, the Career and Tech Advisory Committee, and formerly on the Northland Career Center Advisory Board. As a community member, she is serving as the school district's liaison to the Platte County Health Department Human Trafficking Task Force, the Heartland Exploitation and Recovery Task Force, and the Northland Homeland Assistance Coalition.  These affiliations allow her to maintain two-way communication between the Board of Education and these groups, providing input and representation as necessary. Her years of service on the Board of Education provide consistency, knowledge of board procedures, and long-term involvement in and understanding of decisions that have been made.

    In addition to the many ways she is involved in the district, she attends the First Christian Church of Platte City.  There she serves regularly as an elder and as worship leader in church services, and as chair of the Pulpit Committee.

    Sharon knows that it is her responsibility to be a good steward of the taxpayers’ money, making decisions that are reflective of the district’s most critical needs.  As she looks to the future, she knows it is imperative to maintain high academic excellence in high-quality, safe facilities; retain and hire excellent teachers; address district growth effectively; and encourage parent involvement in the education of the students. It is her honor and joy to serve on the Platte County R-3 Board of Education! 


    Gary Brown

    Gary Brown, Vice President

    Years of Service:  First elected 2013
    Term Ends:  2022 
    District Email Address:  board.brown@platteco.k12.mo.us
    Gary is a lifelong resident of Platte County and a 1985 graduate of the Platte County R-3 High School. He has a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Northwest Missouri State University and a Master of Business Administration from Rockhurst College. Today, he is Superintendent of Operations for Kansas City Power & Light at the Iatan Generating Station.

    Prior to joining the Board of Education, Gary served on phase 1 of the Citizen's Advisory Committee to the board and continued as a BOE representative on the phase 2 committee after his election. He is also active in the local Boy Scout Troop as the High Adventure Coordinator, and in the First Christian Church of Platte City where he is an Elder and a substitute HS Sunday school teacher.

    Gary lives on a small farm in rural Platte County with his wife, Cathy, and two children. He is proud of the PCR3 traditions and appreciates the chance to contribute to a system that served him well. 


    Buffy Smith Buffy Smith, Member

    Years of Service: First Elected 2017
    Term Ends: 2020
    District Email Address:  board.smith@platteco.k12.mo.us


    Buffy Smith was born and raised in Bethany, Missouri on her family farm. After graduation from South Harrison High School, she attended the University of Missouri-Columbia where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.

    Upon graduation, she moved to the Kansas City area to work for Congressman Sam Graves. Buffy worked for the Congressman for more than ten years as his Director of Operations. In that role, she served as his Scheduler, as well as the Platte County Field Representative. Buffy also worked on legislation in a variety of issue areas and coordinated federal grants for constituents. During that time, she also assisted many political campaigns in the state and region. Currently, Buffy is the Co-Director for the Children's Ministry at the Platte City United Methodist Church.  
    Buffy and her husband, Matt, have lived in the Platte City area for more than ten years.  They have two children in the school district.  Elected to the Board of Education in April 2017, she earned the Certified Board Member designation in October 2017 and serves on the School Safety Task Force, Long Range Facility Planning Task Force, and Northland Career Center Advisory Board.  Buffy is also involved in the Platte City School PTA.
    Service to her community is important to Buffy.  She appreciates the opportunity that serving on the Board of Education renders her to give back to the community to benefit the student and families within our Disrict.


    Gwendolyn Cooke Dr. Gwendolyn Cooke, Member

    Years of Service: First elected 2017
    Term Ends: 2020
    District Email Address:  board.cooke@platteco.k12.mo.us
    Dr. Gwendolyn J. Cooke has a vast career in education, from serving as a secondary school principal to working in senior level positions in several school districts including Kansas City, Missouri; Warrensville Heights and Cincinnati, Ohio; Savannah, Georgia; and Baltimore, Maryland, as well as for the University of Central Missouri and Morgan State University in Baltimore. While serving as the Director of the Midwest Center for Charter Schools and Urban Education at UCM, she developed an evaluation system for ten charter schools. She has also served as a consultant in assessment for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

    Dr. Cooke has authored three books: Look Up: Images in the Classroom; A 90 Day Empowerment Journal for Young Women, and Key to Success for Urban Principals. She spent nearly a decade with the National Association of Secondary School Principals in Reston, Virginia, directing the Urban Schools Services Office and the Urban and Rural Schools Services Office. She is also a certified trainer of the Mentoring and Coaching Program for the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and spent the 2007-08 academic school year in the United Arab Emirates coaching and mentoring two school principals and consulting with the Ministry of Education.

    Her education includes a bachelor's degree from Alabama State College, master's degree from Morgan State College, and a doctorate from the University of Connecticut.  Dr. Cooke earned the Certified Board Member Designation in June 2017 and currently serves on the Diversity Task Force and the board of the Platte County Education Foundation.


    Doug Doll Doug Doll, Member

    Years of Service: First elected 2018
    Term Ends: 2021
    District Email Address:  board.doll@platteco.k12.mo.us
    Doug Doll and his family - wife, Melanie, and children, Dillon, Alana, and Dayton, moved within the boundaries of the Platte County R-3 School District in 2003 largely due to the close-knit atmosphere. Their hands-on experiences revealed each building to be so welcoming - from making children feel comfortable to making time to meet with parents - and everything in between. As a result of their interactions with the staff, students, parents and patrons, the Dolls have forged lifelong bonds with the District and the community.

    Doug graduated from William Jewell College in 1990 with a bachelor's degree in Recreation Management. While attending college, Doug also played football which further grew his love of the game. As a result, he enjoys coaching, and has served on the board of the Platte County Youth Football League for seven years - currently holding the position of board president. In addition to his PCYFL activities, he acted on the executive board of Park Hill Disciples of Christ Christian Church which included serving as chairman in 2016 and 2017. Doug has worked in the wholesale auto auction business since 1993, and is the managing partner of KCI Auto Auction in Kansas City.

    Serving the community and school district that has given so much to Doug and his family is the reason he wanted to run for the Board of Education. Doug feels public education requires involvement and collaboration from the entire community to ensure the absolute, lifelong success of our students.


    Amy MacCuish Amy MacCuish, Member

    Years of Service: First elected 2018
    Term Ends: 2021
    District Email Address: board.maccuish@platteco.k12.mo.us

    Amy MacCuish was born in Troy, Alabama, and was raised as an "army brat" living in Germany, North Carolina, Texas, and Florida. After earning her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from the University of Central Florida, she began her career of service as a nurse in the U.S. Army. She later returned to school to earn her Master of Science in Nursing with a focus in child health from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. Amy now practices as a pediatric nurse practitioner at Platte County Pediatrics and Cockerell and McIntosh Pediatrics in Independence, Missouri.

    Amy, her husband Don, and their three children first moved to Platte City in 2008, when Don was assigned to Fort Leavenworth with the U.S. Army. They lived within the PCR-3 District until 2011, when the military moved them away for four years. A love for the community was sparked, so they were thrilled to have the opportunity to return in the summer of 2015. The family now looks forward to establishing deeper roots within the Platte City community, as Don has retired from the Army and is now teaching at the college on Fort Leavenworth.

    The MacCuish children have attended Siegrist, Paxton, Platte City Middle School and Platte County High School in the cumulative years they have lived in the District. Emma attends Northwest Missouri State University. Donny is a student at Platte County High School and Evan attends Platte City Middle School. The boys actively participate and have fostered a familial love of PC football, track and wrestling. Amy and her family attend First Baptist Church Platte City.

    When the opportunity arose to apply for a position on the Board of Education, Amy jumped at the chance to be an active player in advocating for a strong future for our children. Education is a privilege and ensuring that we are providing valuable learning experiences in safe, inclusive, nurturing environments is priority. Guarding our youth from a health perspective, in the light of our ever changing landscape is also a high priority for Amy.


    Alisha Elliott Alisha Elliott, Member

    Years of Service:  First elected 2019
    Term Ends:  2022
    District Email Address:  board.elliott@platteco.k12.mo.us

    Alisha Elliott, elected to the Board of Education in April 2019, was born and raised in the small town of Winchester, Kansas. After graduating from Jefferson County North High School, she attended the University of Kansas where she earned a bachelor’s degree in both Human Development and Criminal Justice. In 2004, Alisha moved to Missouri where she met her husband, Roger.

    In 2009, Alisha opened a Farmers Insurance agency and, throughout the years, has grown the business while earning many awards on the local, state, and national levels. Additionally, she recently obtained her real estate license and is expanding her expertise to assist people in the purchase and sale of their homes.

    Growing up in smaller communities, Alisha and Roger wanted to establish their residence together in a similar environment. The driving force when they made the decision to call a place “home,” was the cohesive and connected surroundings they found in the Platte County R-3 School District. They have two daughters – Alexa, who attends Pathfinder Elementary, and Amiya, who attends Barry School – so they are fully vested in the success and educational excellence of the District.

    Alisha is very active in the PTA and PTSA at both Pathfinder and Barry, and wanting to become even more involved, decided to run for a position on the school board. As a fourth generation board member (her great grandfather, grandfather, and father also served in this capacity), Alisha believes there are many current issues and decisions surrounding public education, and speaking up for our children and citizens of Platte County is her main priority.