How long have you served on your local school board and why did you decide to become a board member?
I have served on the USD 364 School Board for two years and have filled the position of president for six months. I serve as our governmental relations person and on the finance and negotiations committees.
What do you do outside of being a board member?
I am a district administrator for Kansas Farm Bureau, the largest grassroots agricultural advocacy organization in the state. In that position, I serve as a direct liaison to the 10 county Farm Bureaus in the organization’s 5th District as well as working on various projects and activities at the state level. I have two adult children and a Westie named Stella. In my spare time, I love to read personal growth books, listen to podcasts, and garden in the summer.
What experiences or skills do you bring to the table that will help improve your local school district?
I consider myself a lifelong learner so in that capacity I am always willing to broaden my skill set and knowledge base. The last 15 years have allowed me to hone skills in conflict resolution, personnel management, fiscal responsibility and budgeting, consensus building, along with volunteer management. These skills are all valuable in assisting the BOE as we work to make a positive impact on the District and make decisions in the best interests of the students.
What is the top goal you have this year for your local board and what would you like to focus on as a member of the KASB Board of Directors?
USD 364 is currently in a search for a new superintendent and also in the beginning stages of construction on a new agricultural/technical skills complex. My goal is to help lead the district to positive completions of both those tasks. My focus at the KASB Board level is to continue the tradition of KASB being the go-to source for information and education for our member districts in whatever form that looks like as we move into the future.
Who was your favorite teacher or school staff member and why?
My favorite teacher was my high school biology teacher, Mr. Dave Sampson. He connected with the students, had high expectations for us in the classroom, but was extremely humorous and allowed us to be kids too. He made all the students feel included, welcomed, and important.
If you had a chance to speak to your 18-year-old self, what would you say?
I would tell my 18-year-old self that all the things that were so important in high school become so much less important as you spread your wings and follow your adult life path. High school does not define who you are or who you will become.
What is a saying or quote that you live by?
“Your journey is not the same as mine, and my journey is not yours, but if you meet me on a certain path, may we encourage each other.”