School District

1 2 3 61

Kelly HolderSchool Board Candidate Kelly Holder

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

With the upcoming elections for City Commission and School Board, we wanted to take time to highlight each candidate in the race.

All candidates were sent a questionnaire to fill out and respond to and stated that their responses to those questions will be presented as sent to us with no editing.

Today, we feature School Board Candidate Kelly Holder.

Please tell about your background and qualifications for a position on the School Board.

I was born and raised in Hays, Kansas where I graduated from Hays High School. After high school, I attended Fort Hays State University where I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and later a Master’s degree in Business Administration. I have 5 years of teaching experience in post-secondary education. This includes serving as an Instructor of Business at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith as well as an Adjunct Instructor of Informatics at Fort Hays State University.

I’m employed at Children International (a nonprofit humanitarian organization that supports children and prepares youth to escape poverty traps) as a Senior Marketing Database Analyst. I also work part-time for the Kansas State Department of Education as a Data Analyst.

During my time at Fort Hays State University, I had the good fortune of meeting my wife Tara. Tara and I have two beautiful children. Rylee, 6, is in Kindergarten at Eudora Elementary School, and recently we’ve been blessed with a son Aiden, who is 4 months old. During my free time I enjoy playing with my children, reading, gardening, landscaping and wood working.

The most important issue facing the school board is funding. Tell us how you would decide on any budget cuts that may need to be made now and in the coming year.

The USD 491 school board will need a process to formulate where the potential cuts could occur. I would work to ensure that USD 491 makes wise use of the available funds by supporting initiatives that enable the maximum benefit of available funds while concurrently seeking increased support for public education, both financially and philosophically. I believe it’s sacrosanct that any proposed solution strives to be in the best interests of our students. When formulating a solution to what will assuredly be a complicated fiscal issue, I will seek community and teacher/staff input and leave all options on the table. Through collaborative efforts, I believe USD 491 will formulate a solution, which is mutually agreeable to the unfortunate situation we have found ourselves placed in.

Do you support raising the local mill rate to cover and underfunding by the state and why or why not?

With the state’s school funding formula in flux, while also noting that the courts are suggesting they may block the governor’s and legislature’s implementation of block grants, the solution to the underfunding by the state is not yet clear. The scope and breadth of budgetary impacts will first need defined. Until this is defined and at this time, I’m unable to definitely provide an answer to this question though I will say it is too early to take any available paths for resolution off of the table.

The State Board of Education has adopted and begun implementation of the Common Core Standards in school districts through the state. What is your position on the Common Core Standards and if they were to become optional, would you support keeping or removing them from the curriculum in the Eudora School District?

I am in favor of the implementation of the Common Core Standards. I believe the Common Core Standards were developed in an honest effort to produce academic goals for education that produce graduates who are equipped with the skills necessary to be college and career ready. USD 491 has already expended considerable resources to facilitate the implementation of these standards, as adopted by the Kansas Board of Education. At the same time, I also believe that these standards have been unduly “villanized” by those in politics as an example of the federal government’s overreach in each state’s educational affairs. I believe this is an unfortunate misperception. The implementation of Common Core Standards is not, nor were they ever, mandatory for states to adopt. USD 491 should implement the Common Core Standards for the aforementioned reasons, however if these standards were to become optional for Kansas districts, I would seek input from teachers and the community to decide whether or not this position should be reevaluated and if the standards are in the best interest of Eudora students.

What other issues do you see as important decisions the School Board will face in the near future?

Outside of funding, there are two other major issues I see as important for the School Board to address in the near future. The first of these issues stems from the recent flurry of legislation that seeks to severely diminish the rights of USD 491 teachers and staff, especially in the areas of tenure and collective bargaining. I believe the USD 491 school board must take a proactive stance to maintain and protect the rights of our educators. If elected as a member of the Eudora school board, I will advocate maintaining due process rights for all USD 491 teachers and staff. Due process rights provide teachers and staff increased job security by providing protections against unwarranted dismissal due to personal or political reasons. By having these rights in place, teacher efficiency and effectiveness is increased, which ultimately benefits all USD 491 stakeholders. In regards to collective bargaining I will support maintaining collective bargaining practices as they currently exist at the local level. By allowing this flexibility, we are best serving all interests in USD 491.

The second major issue I see important to address is a reevaluation of a past budget decision made by the USD 491 School Board. In years prior, when facing budgetary constraints, the USD 491 School Board cut programs including Art for our students in K – 5. This is a decision that I disagree with and feel is a disservice to our students.  Currently K-5 students receive Art class once a month. This class is enabled by the volunteers of the Arts Coalition of Eudora. I am immensely thankful for the wonderful work that the Arts Coalition of Eudora puts in bringing Art to these students. Without these volunteers, our K-5 children would have a very limited or complete lack of exposure to Art. Although some may regard art education as a luxury, academic research has repeatedly shown that creative activities are an important building block of a child’s development. This has been well documented in academic research. If elected to the USD 491 School Board, I will strive to find a low-to-no cost solution to allow Art to be placed back into the regular curriculum of our students.

Why do you want to sit on the School Board?

Public education is crucial to our society and our children’s future. Eudora schools have long provided an exceptional education. With the changes in education policy, USD 491 will continue to face increased challenges in providing this level of excellence. The increasing challenges faced by USD 491 include: financial pressures due to reductions in state funding, the reductions of teacher rights, and the severe reduction or elimination of programs such as Art which are crucial to a child’s development.  USD 491 students must continue to thrive, and the school board must be innovative in meeting the challenges of the future. I believe a balanced, pragmatic approach will be crucial in developing the solutions needed to address these challenges. I am committed to public service and believe that my educational and professional experience will serve as an additional asset for the school board to call upon when crafting the solutions to the challenges facing USD 491.

Lastly, I am an advocate of political transparency and accountability. I will strive to solicit as much input as possible from all USD 491 stakeholders in regards to issues this school board will face in the upcoming years. I hope to maintain and increase the public trust through responsible and informed decision making. In that effort, I will strive to make myself the most accessible school board member for whom you can count on to make the right decisions.

__

The City elections will be held on Tuesday, April 7. Polls will be open from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Voters can vote early by mail or by going to the Douglas County Courthouse.  For more information on advance voting, you can visit the Douglas County Elections website: https://www.douglascountyks.org/depts/voting-and-elections/advance-voting

Three of the five candidates running for the City Commission will be selected. On the School Board, six candidates are vying for four seats.

We will have more in depth information about polling places as we near Election Day. The remaining candidates will be profiled over the next few days.

Print Friendly
Share

State_Farm_SOTW_2013

Congratulations to Matthew Besser, Student of the Week for March 30-April 3!

Matthew Besser

Matthew is a sixth grader at Eudora Middle School and is the son of Jennifer Besser and Mark Besser.  Here are a few things about Matthew:

Favorite subject: PE

Favorite book: The Maze Runner

Favorite food: Spaghetti

Hero: Mom

What are your future plans?  I want to work in retail.

__

The student of the week is sponsored by State Farm Agent Keith Nowland. Contact Keith for your Insurance and Financial Planning Service needs. 785-542-3276.

This is a paid advertisement

Print Friendly
Share

Mark ChrislipSchool Board Member Mark Chrislip

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

With the upcoming elections for City Commission and School Board, we wanted to take time to highlight each candidate in the race.

All candidates were sent a questionnaire to fill out and respond to and stated that their responses to those questions will be presented as sent to us with no editing.

Today, we feature School Board Member Mark Chrislip

Please tell about your background and qualifications for a position on the School Board

– Lived in Eudora for 37 years. Married for 38 years. I have 3 grown children who all went to Eudora schools K thru 12. Also have 10 grandkids, 3 of which are attending the grade school.

– I’m the Director of Sales and Marketing for White’s Electronics

– Served on the School Board for 24 years.

The most important issue facing the school board is funding. Tell us how you would decide on any budget cuts that may need to be made now and in the coming year.

The new state-funding bill recently passed is the single biggest challenge we face here in Eudora. As a school board member my job is to hold our administrators accountable to developing a strong budget that will allow us to be the best with what we have. Unfortunately the budget shortfalls will cut deep into our budget and that means we will be faced with difficult decisions. I will be committed to making sure that we analyze the situation and look at all possible options and that all the stake holders have input into the decision making process.

Do you support raising the local mill rate to cover any under funding by the state and why or why not?

Unfortunately the state legislators have put us in a very difficult position. As I stated above we are looking at deep cuts in our budget. I do not support the idea that in order to maintain our current level of funding we should place that burden on the local patrons.

The State Board of Education has adopted and begun implementation of the Common Core Standards in school districts through the state. What is your position on the Common Core Standards and if they were to become optional, would you support keeping or removing them from the curriculum in the Eudora School District?

Over my tenure on the School Board there have been many controversial programs such as QPA , No Child Left Behind, Common Core, and others that have influenced the way we educate our kids here in Eudora. Any time the Federal Government tries to mandate educational strategies at the local level I’m always a bit leery of their intentions. That said, I’ve seen how well our administrators and teachers have embraced these programs in manner that has a positive influence on the quality of educations we provide. The district has embraced Common Core with terrific strategies and a lot of hard work to make sure we continue the quality expected in Eudora. Should the mandate become optional, I trust our team to continue the things that are working and look at options where we might have gaps. This district is committed to the to a strong set of core values and a strategic plan that will ensure we maintain a high commitment to the education of our kids. So, whether we have Common Core or not, I’m committed to do what I can to hold us accountable to these values and strategic plans.

What other issues do you see as important decisions the School Board will face in the near future?

Recently the board had the opportunity to visit all the buildings in the district and see first hand some of our immediate challenges. Some of those challenges include the following:

– Strengthening the safety and security of our buildings. Unfortunately in this day and age it is imperative that we have strong safety measures in place to protect our kids. We have safe schools in Eudora but we also areas that need to improve, all of which, cost money not budgeted at this time.

– We have needs in the area of technology. Eudora has always been committed to a strong technology strategy but technology continues to change at a rapid pace and we have gaps that need improved.

– Extra-curricular activities are a strong value in Eudora and in order to maintain high quality, we need to improve and replace some of the equipment, uniforms, musical instruments and other critical items.

– Maintaining our commitment to small class sizes.

Why do you want to sit on the School Board?

I’m extremely proud of this district and all we’ve accomplished for the past 24 years and I want to be a part of helping maintain the quality of education we provide.

__

The City elections will be held on Tuesday, April 7. Polls will be open from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Voters can vote early by mail or by going to the Douglas County Courthouse.  For more information on advance voting, you can visit the Douglas County Elections website: https://www.douglascountyks.org/depts/voting-and-elections/advance-voting

Three of the five candidates running for the City Commission will be selected. On the School Board, six candidates are vying for four seats.

We will have more in depth information about polling places as we near Election Day. The remaining candidates will be profiled over the next few days.

Print Friendly
Share

BryanMaringSchool Board Candidate Bryan Maring

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

With the upcoming elections for City Commission and School Board, we wanted to take time to highlight each candidate in the race.

All candidates were sent a questionnaire to fill out and respond to and stated that their responses to those questions will be presented as sent to us with no editing.

Today, we feature School Board Candidate Bryan Maring

Please tell about your background and qualifications for a position on the School Board.

I graduated from Fort Hays State University with a BA in Secondary Education and MS in Athletic Administration. During my 15 years in education, I taught and coached at several universities and also spent 2 years as a teacher and head football coach at Ellinwood High School in Kansas.  I then decided to join the pharmaceutical industry where I currently am a sales manager of 10 representatives in an area covering the state of Kansas. My unique background in having and education and business experience allows me to understand the challenges in education from a teacher level, and from a business end where you must gain all the information, look at all the options and make the best decision for the school district.

The most important issue facing the school board is funding. Tell us how you would decide on any budget cuts that may need to be made now and in the coming year.

As budget shortfall will be the main challenge all school boards face in the state of Kansas for the next several years, here is how I have made tough decisions in my current role in the business sector:

1. You must have a common goal as a school board by which all decisions must be centered around. I believe that all decisions should be made with the best interest of providing a safe environment for the children to learn, minimum effect on the number of persons involved, and maintaining the highest quality of education.

2. You gather all the facts as it pertains to the decision.

3. Outside the box think of ideas and strategies that could be used meet the goal of the decision (refer to goal in #1).

4. Test the ideas and/or strategies to determine if they could or will work.

5. Make the decision that best meets the goal set by the school board (refer to #1). Decisions are not always easy but having a process by which to make decisions is. Having had to make decisions over the past 10 years in the business environment which had impact on the customers we served and the people who worked for me, I know the importance every decision we will make and will not take those decisions lightly. Every decision has an impact on someone and we need to realize what that impact is and how best to make that impact as positive as it can be.

Do you support raising the local mill rate to cover and underfunding by the state and why or why not?

I do support passing a mill rate to cover the underfunding by the state. The main reason is the importance of making sure we deliver the best education for the children of this community. By voting to increase the mill levy, first the vote will only give the board and district the ability to tap the additional funds as needed. For example, the district and school board may only need 1% or 2% additional, meaning the vote only gives them the flexibility to tap that resource when needed not an overall 3% hike. As a community we are challenged to provide the best education possible to the children of this community and the only way to continue to provide this is to make sure we can have flexibility in funding our schools.

The State Board of Education has adopted and begun implementation of the Common Core Standards in school districts through the state. What is your position on the Common Core Standards and if they were to become optional, would you support keeping or removing them from the curriculum in the Eudora School District?

I believe there needs to be a set of standards by which schools are measured to determine the progress they make in educating our children. Secondly, I believe issues as it pertains to schools should be made at the state and local level and pushed down by federal mandates as part of funding. The challenge around Common Core is it is the current standard which all schools are buying text books, training teachers, and the investment, dollars, is quite substantial. While I may not like every aspect of Common Core I do believe in having a standard to measure the performance of our schools. Talking with educators around the area, it seems there are things people like and dislike. This is with any standard that has ever been rolled out in any industry or education system. If it is repealed by the state legislature, I would take into account the amount of money already spent to by textbooks, new technology programs and train our teachers. With the budget the way it is, I would not support any endeavor to change it if the cost of changing would be spending more money to buy new text books, technologies, and retrain teacher at a high cost thus limiting the opportunity to keep, add, or maintain the current educational standards in our schools.

What other issues do you see as important decisions the School Board will face in the near future?

All the other challenges within our schools will still have a component of the budget challenge.  Additional challenges such as retention of our best teachers, as stated earlier one of our priorities is to provide the highest level of education possible. To do that we must retain our best teachers and keep those top teachers here within our school district.

Why do you want to sit on the School Board?

I have had one daughter graduate from Eudora High School who currently attends Drake University and one daughter who is currently a 7th grade student, I have seen what the Eudora Schools system has done and is doing to help prepare them for their futures. I want to run for School Board because I believe my unique background of education and business can help us through the next couple of years and the tough decisions that need to be made. I believe at Eudora we offer unique opportunities for our students a track through vocational training through our Ed Tech building and a traditional college prep, not many schools give that opportunity to the community. I want to help maintain and grow those opportunities to help students prepare for their career choices. Eudora is a great community, with untapped potential in our children, our schools will help tap into that potential and as school board member I can help making sure those potentials are reached.

__

The City elections will be held on Tuesday, April 7. Polls will be open from 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M. Voters can vote early by mail or by going to the Douglas County Courthouse.  For more information on advance voting, you can visit the Douglas County Elections website: https://www.douglascountyks.org/depts/voting-and-elections/advance-voting

Three of the five candidates running for the City Commission will be selected. On the School Board, six candidates are vying for four seats.

We will have more in depth information about polling places as we near Election Day. The remaining candidates will be profiled over the next few days.

Print Friendly
Share

State_Farm_SOTW_2013

Congratulations to Katie Rosewicz, Student of the Week for March 2-6!

Katie Rosewicz

Katie is a sophomore in the journalism class at the Eudora De Soto Technical Education Center.  She is the daughter of Amy and Phil Rosewicz.  Here are a few things about Katie:

Favorite subject: Yearbook

Favorite book: Addie on the Inside

Favorite food: Extreme Cheese Goldfish

Hero: Batman

What are your future plans?  To be a food scientist

__

The student of the week is sponsored by State Farm Agent Keith Nowland. Contact Keith for your Insurance and Financial Planning Service needs. 785-542-3276.

This is a paid advertisement

 

 

 

 

Print Friendly
Share
1 2 3 61