Archive for Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Former board member enters race

January 24, 2007


When voters go to the polls April 3, they'll find another comeback candidate seeking to regain his old seat on Lawrence's school board.

Scott Morgan, who lost his re-election bid in 2003 by 66 votes, filed less than an hour before the deadline Tuesday.

"I want to work with others to help our schools and, more importantly, our children realize even more of their potential," he said.

The Lawrence businessman became the eighth candidate running for four open seats on the board. There will not be a primary in the school board race.

Voters didn't re-elect both Morgan, who served four years, and Mary Loveland, who served 16 years, in 2003, following a period when the school board decided to close and consolidate four elementary schools.

"If that cost me the election, it was an easy price to pay. Not because I revel in closing things, but because that was so long overdue. The kids will be so much better served," Morgan said as he was finishing out the final days of his term four years ago.

On Monday, he released a two-page campaign statement that pushed for the concepts of reaching, educating and preparing students; for "parents as partners" in schools; for supporting teachers; and for having respect for public money.

"Long-term community support of education is strengthened by spending that is balanced, reasonable and justifiable," Morgan said.

Morgan, who served as school board president in the 2002-2003 fiscal year, is president of Morgan Quitno Press, a local publishing company that specializes in state and city statistical reference books.

He and his wife, Kathleen, have three children: Kelly, 18, who attends Lawrence High School; Calvin, 14, who is at Southwest Junior High School; and Grace, 11, who attends Sunflower School.

The Morgans also have an LHS exchange student from Norway living with them this year.

Local schools are good, but can be better, he said.

The other candidates:

¢ Loveland, a longtime school volunteer, lost her bid for a fifth four-year term in the 2003 election. Loveland has said she had no agenda but would offer her experience with serving as a volunteer in education for more than 20 years.

¢ Michael Machell, a human resources manager who works in Lenexa, has said he could represent commuters on the board. He said his background in business and education could help him add some value and contribute to the board.

¢ Marlene Merrill, chairwoman of the Lawrence Arts Commission, is seeking her first bid for office. Merrill retired in 2003 after 12 years as the local school district's director of assessments. She is now a research and testing specialist for Kansas City, Kan., public schools. Merrill says she would push for all-day kindergarten and supports programs that keep students in school and curb drug and alcohol use.

¢ Rich Minder, the only incumbent running, was first elected in 2003. Minder said he would seek to implement all-day kindergarten in at least a few schools next year. He is collaborative projects coordinator for the Success by 6 Coalition of Douglas County.

¢ Michael Pomes, who ran for school board in 2003, finished in eighth place out of eight candidates. Pomes is an environmental scientist who runs the permitting program for storage tanks for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. He said the board needs to improve its communication with the public and to increase accessibility for the handicapped.

¢ Robert Rauktus, a retired physician, describes himself as a nontraditional student at Kansas University, where he is studying teaching English as a second language. Rauktis said he was a fiscal conservative.

¢ Victor Sisk is president-elect of the Douglas County Association of Retired School Personnel. He was the LHS band director from 1984 to 1988. He was assistant executive director of the Kansas State High School Activities Association, retiring in 2005. He has said the district needs to continue efforts to keep teachers in the district by improving salaries and benefits.


HoosierPride 11 years, 3 months ago

I'm not sure about those who wish to have an all day kindergarten. I think that this is more of a state issue and not a local issue. If Lawrence had an infinite amount of funding I would think that this could get done. Since they will be relying on state funds I doubt the local school board can get this done.

girly 11 years, 3 months ago

I like the idea of all day kindergarten, however, I wonder how it will affect the day care business. The taxpayers will be paying extra and the local day care providers will be losing money.

Stephen Roberts 11 years, 3 months ago

I find this funny that two former board members are running again after Marlene Merrill announced she is running.

I know Marlene announced her intention to run first but does anyone know if Randy or any other administrator asked Loveland and Morgan to run? I would like to know.

budwhysir 11 years, 3 months ago

Have they every had a walking race in this town? Im not much of a runner

Richard Heckler 11 years, 3 months ago

Commuter my thoughts exactly regarding Randy and these two candidates.

Loveland and Morgan are not friends to neighborhood schools and I believe Randy wanted to create fewer larger schools. It appears the board gets it lead from the superintendent.

In fact why not sell the BOE building, move the Cordley Students down the street into the virtual school building and move the BOE into the Cordley building.

oldgoof 11 years, 3 months ago

merrill: "Loveland and Morgan are not friends to neighborhood schools" . oldgoof: BS. And what a term that means different things to different people: "friends to neighborhood schools"

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