Mary Loveland, a Lawrence school board member nearing the end of her first four-year term, filed Wednesday as a candidate in this spring's Lawrence school board election.
"I am proud of the progress that the district has made in the last four years," Loveland said. "No single board member can take a lot of credit for that, but several of the things that have happened are very important to me."
Loveland, 42, said she was especially pleased with a renovation project started in 1989, in which a total of $200,000 has been spent to provide "facelifts" to the district's six oldest elementary schools. This year, $100,000 will be spent for renovations at Central Junior High School, the oldest junior high school in the district.
"Our older buildings need attention. Having a nice, attractive school environment has a very positive impact on teaching and learning," Loveland said.
THE GROWTH of the district's in-service programs also has been important to Loveland.
"It is an important step forward in this district to recognize that all teachers benefit from continuing professional development," Loveland said. "In the midst of the information age, it is very important that the teachers of our children are able to deal with current trends in education."
Loveland said an important issue right now is state aid to the district, which this year would have dropped from 10 percent of the total district budget to about 4 percent had the Kansas Legislature followed the School District Equalization Formula instead of holding funding at 1989-90 levels.
"If facts and numbers don't change and without some rise in state taxes, the budget picture in terms of state funds for local education will be bleak," Loveland said.
LOVELAND earned a degree in English from Kansas University, and she and her husband, Chuck, moved permanently to Lawrence in 1976. They have four children: Meredith, a senior at Lawrence High School; Doug, an LHS sophomore; Morgan, a seventh-grader at West Junior High School; and Aidan, a fifth-grader at Deerfield.
Loveland said she had been active for several years in the Deerfield School PTA, serving at one point as school board observer for the group.
"I was familiar with a number of school board discussions prior to my board membership," Loveland said.
Loveland's other activities have included eight years of volunteer work with youth sports programs and serving on the board of Kansas Action for Children, a lobbying group concerned with children's issues.
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.
Harriet Shaffer, another school board member whose term expires this year, is the only other person who has filed.