Board of Education

Buffy Smith, President

Buffy Smith

Years of Service: First Elected 2017
Term Ends: 2023
District Email Address:

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. She worked as his Director of Operations, Scheduler, and Platte County Field Representative for 10 years. After taking a leave to be home with her children, Buffy returned to the Congressman's office. She currently serves as the District Director for the Congressman overseeing the Missouri operations for his office.

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 the Advanced Board Member designation in April 2020. She 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 District.


Gary Brown, Vice President

Gary Brown

Years of Service: First elected 2013
Term Ends: 2022
District Email Address:

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 PCR-3 traditions and appreciates the chance to contribute to a system that served him well.


Sharon Sherwood, Member

Sharon Sherwood

Years of Service: First elected 2008
Term Ends: 2023
District Email Address:

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, and 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, learning 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!


Doug Doll, Member

Doug Doll

Years of Service: First elected 2018
Term Ends: 2024
District Email Address:

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 - including 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 America's 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.


Alisha Elliott, Member

Alisha Elliott

Years of Service: First elected 2019
Term Ends: 2022
District Email Address:

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.


Bobby Vann, Member

Bobby Vann photoYears of Service: First elected 2020
Term Ends: 2023
District Email Address:

Bobby Vann grew up in Wakefield, Kansas, a small farm community near in proximity to Fort Riley and Milford Lake. In 2010, upon his retirement from the military, he and his family moved to Platte City. After retirement from the U.S. Army, he worked as a residential advisor at Job Corps in Excelsior Springs, and later, worked for the Department of Homeland Security.

Mr. Vann enlisted in the United States Army and served for more than 20 years. He is a combat Veteran where he served in Operation Desert Shield/Storm, as well as serving multiple deployments in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He graduated from Upper Iowa University with a bachelor's degree in Social Science. Additionally, he earned a Master of Science degree from Kansas State University in Adult, Occupational and Continuing Education.

Bobby is married to Beth Ann, also an Army veteran, and they have three children - Nicholas, who is currently serving in the U.S. Army, Ryan, and Isabella. His hobbies include fishing, gardening, and biking - riding bikes for many charities. Bobby has spent his life serving this great nation and will use that dedication to service while serving on the Platte County R-3 School District Board of Education.


Karen Bryant, Member

Karen Bryant PhotoYears of Service: First elected 2021
Term Ends: 2024
District Email Address:

Karen Bryant was born and raised on a Missouri farm and believes that is where her work ethic and “can do” attitude was instilled in her at a young age. Graduating from Polo High School, she continued her education at Ricks Junior College in Rexburg, Idaho as well as attending Maple Woods Community College with a focus in office administration. She has worked for her current employer as an office administrator for approximately 23 years.

Karen and her husband, Todd, moved into the District in 2006. They have four children – Sheena, Brett, Hunter (2013 PCHS graduate), and Tucker (currently attending PCHS). Karen has served the community in various ways – from being a Boy Scout and Brownie leader to a little league basketball coach to a fundraiser for local charities – and she believes serving on the school board is just another way to give back to the place she and her family call home.

Karen feels she has a unique, well-rounded perspective when it comes to the educational system. Having children in both general education and special education, she is confident her experiences will provide value and voice when it comes to inclusion and educational improvement. She looks forward to working for the families, students, and staff of the Platte County R-3 School District for the next three years.