Rich Minder said he still has a lot of unfinished business after four years on Lawrence's school board.
"It's kind of like getting off the train halfway there," said Minder, who was elected in 2003.
During recent interviews and forums, Minder, the only incumbent among the field of eight candidates running for four seats, said he wanted the district to be competitive about attracting and retaining top educators.
He also wants make sure that there is a good transition of leadership in the district as more teachers and administrators take early retirement.
He said he doesn't want to wait for the state to begin offering all-day kindergarten in Douglas County - the county lags far behind the state as a whole and similar-sized counties in offering all-day kindergarten.
Minder said Kansas Department of Education figures show 67.04 percent of the elementary schools in the state offer all-day kindergarten. And it's offered in 66.75 percent of the schools in counties similar in size to Douglas County, such as Wyandotte, Johnson, Sedgwick and Shawnee counties.
But it's offered in only 4.35 percent of the schools in Douglas County, he said.
And he wants to integrate all-day kindergarten in the district, making it part of an education that runs from early childhood through high school.
"There's this disconnect we need to close," he said.
Minder, 48, is collaborative projects coordinator for the Success by Six Coalition of Douglas County, which is a coalition of agencies and individuals working to improve early childhood education programs.
He and his wife, Vickie Penner, have two children who attend New York School.
Minder said his approach to keeping and attracting top educators in Lawrence is to "take a holistic approach."
"That approach includes the features of the job that are other than salary," he said. For example, providing elementary teachers with more time during their work day for planning, he said.
He also said the district needs to change its early retirement system to make sure it is sustainable in the future.
During a recent interview with 6News, Minder said the district was taking care of its facilities issues in junior highs.
"I think as we go out two or three years from now, we're going to start to see the need to revisit facilities again," he said.
He said there were some overcrowding issues in some of the district's elementary schools, such as Deerfield and Hillcrest.
There also is a growth in students needing English as a Second Language services, he said.
"All of those are going to kind of converge in the next few years and we're going to have to start thinking about how we address some of the elementary issues," he said.
Minder has said that one of the reasons he decided to run again was to help provide continuity of leadership on the school board - four of seven seats are up for election on April 3, and Minder is the only incumbent seeking re-election.
"I enjoy what I do in the Lawrence public schools as a board member and I want to keep doing it for another four years," he said.