Harriet Shaffer, a Lawrence school board member nearing the end of her first four-year term, this morning became the first person to file as a candidate in this spring's Lawrence school board elections.
Shaffer, 47, said there were two main reasons why she decided to seek re-election.
"I want to see the programs that we've started continued because they are good for kids, and I want to work on the solution to the overcrowding problem in grades seven through 12," Shaffer said.
Voters in November rejected the school board's proposal for handling secondary enrollment growth, a plan that called for the construction of a second high school in west Lawrence. However, Shaffer said, the board's efforts were not in vain.
"What we did accomplish in proposing the school bond issue was to get people to see that there is a real problem," Shaffer said. "Now we need to have a solution that will be accepted."
SHAFFER SAID she would seriously consider the proposals of the Commission on Mid-Level and High School Education, which the board created after the bond issue defeat to look at secondary education issues.
Shaffer said her involvement with education began more than 25 years ago when she earned a bachelor's degree in education at Kansas University.
Upon graduating, she taught in the Shawnee Mission school district for one year, and then at a high school in Ames, Iowa, for three years.
Shaffer and her husband, Dick, moved back to Lawrence in 1972. She has worked at KU for 10 years, and for the past three years she has worked at KU's Beach Center on Families and Disability, where she serves as assistant director for dissemination and training.
SHAFFER'S involvement with the Lawrence school district began in 1975, when her daughter, Susan, now a junior at KU, entered kindergarten at Broken Arrow School. Her other two children, Steve and Carol, who are now secondary school students, also attended Broken Arrow.
Shaffer's active involvement with Broken Arrow during the 14 years her children attended school there earned her the distinction as Broken Arrow's 1990 "Friend of Education."
Shaffer also served on two Lawrence school committees before joining the school board in 1987. One of those committees was responsible for selecting the site of the district's present administration center.
"I feel that since I have a background in the field of education, that is where I should volunteer my time and commitment, and I'm happy to do that," Shaffer said.
School board candidates must file by noon Jan. 22 to run in the April 2 general election. A primary election will be conducted Feb. 26 if more than eight candidates file for the four seats on the board up for election this year.