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Archive for Thursday, January 9, 2003

Board member files for 5th term

January 9, 2003

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The longest-serving member of the Lawrence school board filed for a fifth term Wednesday, saying too much work remained undone to step aside.

"I cannot escape the nagging feeling that the job is not finished," said Mary Loveland, the second incumbent to seek re-election.

Loveland, 54, said her campaign would center on support for the board's proposed $59 million bond issue for school construction and renovation. Voters go to the polls April 1 to accept or reject the bond plan and to elect four people to the seven-member board of education.

"Its successful passage is absolutely critical to the future success and effectiveness of our educational system," she said.

Loveland said following through with plans to consolidate three elementary schools -- Riverside, East Heights and Centennial -- also was important.

"We have too many schools and several of them are too close together," she said.

Loveland, a Lawrence resident since 1976, first ran for the board in 1983, but lost. She then had four children in Lawrence schools. She was elected in 1987 to the first of four four-year terms, and her children have passed through the district.

She views her empty-nester status as an advantage. It allows her to view public school issues with a broader perspective, she said.

"When I was first elected to the school board, our youngest child was in first grade, and our first grandchild was born 2 1/2 years ago -- during a school board meeting," Loveland said after filing at the Douglas County Courthouse. "I think I'm a good big-picture person. I think that's an important quality of decision-making."

Loveland said she also was motivated to run because the district faced tighter budget times. The board is expected to compile a list of $4.5 million in possible spending cuts as it prepares a 2003-2004 budget.

There are programs in the district that Loveland said she didn't want undermined, including music and art.

"We do a lot right for kids," she said. "I don't want to sacrifice those if we can avoid it."

If successful in her campaign, Loveland said it was likely her fifth term would be her last.

Loveland was raised in Merriam and attended Catholic schools until enrolling at Kansas University. She graduated from KU in 1970 with an English degree. She is married to pediatrician Chuck Loveland.

She is the third candidate to file. Incumbent Scott Morgan and banker Cindy Yulich are official candidates. The filing deadline is Jan. 21.

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