John W. Koepke School Boards and
Quality Public Education Foundation

John W. Koepke retired June 30, 2010, as the executive director of the Kansas Association of School Boards, Topeka, Kansas. He began his 40 year affiliation with the association in 1970 as the publications director, and soon assumed additional duties as part of lobbying and advocacy. In 1979 he was promoted to assistant executive director, then associate executive director in 1982 before his appointment to the role of executive director in August 1983. 

During his tenure as the chief executive officer for KASB there were vast changes in the role of local school boards, and equally considerable changes in the operation of KASB.

Under John’s direction KASB successfully expanded its mission to provide relevant services to school board members and administrators in the state.  The John W. Koepke School Boards and Quality Public Education Foundation was established by the Kansas Association of School Boards to honor John’s many contributions to Kansas public education.

The Koepke Foundation

The Foundation was formed to recognize individual school board member(s) and a school board(s) who have demonstrated leadership at the local, state or federal level as evidence by:

  • A significant contribution to develop community support for the critical role of public education;
  • Improving student achievement;
  • Strengthening professional development to support public education, school board member training and development, the role of school boards, and school leadership
  • Engaging the public, parents and community in school improvement;
  • Aiding, fostering and promoting the development of the role of public schools and public education in preserving and promoting democracy;
  • Individual or group activities to support a quality public education at the local, state and federal level and the work of local school boards;
  • Leadership and service to school boards, public education and/or the Kansas Association of School Boards as demonstrated by committee work, attendance at KASB seminars, regional meetings, FRN, conventions, public policy committees, nominating committee, whole board training, McRel, Leadership for Tomorrow, workers compensation board and/or advocating for public education.
The Foundation also seeks to acquire local, state, federal, private and/or public grants to further a full range of educational initiatives and projects. This include supporting the mission, beliefs, vision and goals of the Kansas Association of School Boards and assisting local boards of education and related educational entities in their responsibilities to assure a quality public education for all students.

Accomplishment of these goals could include:
  • Working with local school boards in their efforts to support student learning and achievement;
  • Providing and expanding awareness of high quality services and best educational practices;
  • Promoting an environment of mutual trust and cooperative efforts with other entities;
  • Reviewing and addressing the issues which affect public school governance;
  • Developing a variety of opportunities for members and others to communicate and learn about innovative educational programs, practices and issues;
  • Expanding and evaluating training for school district leaders, school board members, parents and community members;
  • Assisting school boards and school districts to continuously improve the delivery of educational opportunities, programs, processes and procedures; and
  • Involving parents, patrons and the community in supporting public education and student achievement.

Scholarship Awards

The Foundation seeks to award yearly scholarships to recognize and honor an individual school board member (s) to attend the national convention and a local school board (s) to attend KASB’s annual convention.

Scholarships will be awarded for attendance at the annual convention by school board member (s) and local school board(s) who have exemplified outstanding leadership by promoting and supporting public education as demonstrated by any of the following:
  • Active involvement on any of the KASB member services boards (Worker’s Compensation, Legislative, Nominating) or participation in the KASB Leadership For Tomorrow, McKrel, Whole Board Training or KASB seminars and Regional Meeting opportunities.
  • Advocacy and leadership in support of a quality public education and/or student achievement at the local, state board, legislative or congressional levels.

Selection of Recipients

Scholarship recipients will be selected by a committee consisting of the current KASB executive director and the executive committee of the KASB Board of Directors with assistance and recommendations from KASB staff and members including the KASB Leadership Academy.

Please note: The final selection process and timeline are currently under development. The association will announce award opportunities in the near future.