Archive for Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Candidates to meet with school board at next week’s public meeting; appointment vote delayed

Lawrence USD 497 school board

Lawrence USD 497 school board

March 7, 2017

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The 19 candidates vying for Kristie Adair’s open school board seat will have the opportunity to meet with board members during Monday’s meeting, district spokeswoman Julie Boyle told the Journal-World on Tuesday.

The school board has asked all applicants to attend the board’s regular meeting Monday, starting at 6 p.m. at district offices, 110 McDonald Drive.

“Each candidate should prepare a brief presentation, not to exceed five minutes, outlining qualifications and reasons for applying,” Boyle said in an email. “Following that, board members may have questions for the candidates.”

This process differs from the one used twice to fill board vacancies in 2014, a process that notably did not involve formal interviews of the candidates. The Journal-World last week reported that the school board had planned to follow those same steps in its current appointment process, which would have meant that school board members would review applications independently, discuss those applications at Monday’s meeting and then appoint the new board member at that same meeting.

Board members would have the option to contact candidates as part of that process, school board vice president Shannon Kimball told the Journal-World, but the choice would be “left up to each individual board member.”

On Monday, school board president Marcel Harmon said the board had “rethought interviewing candidates" after considering public input, and that the vote to appoint the new board member wouldn’t take place during Monday’s meeting. On Tuesday, Boyle confirmed that the appointment decision would instead be made at a special meeting slated for 6 p.m. March 27. Applicant attendance at that meeting, she said, is optional.

The deadline to apply for the position was 5 p.m. Monday, March 6. As of that deadline, the district had received 19 applications, not including two candidates, Victoria Anderson and Enoch Kaulaity, who have withdrawn their applications. Those applications are now available for public viewing at www.usd497.org.

Applicants now include: Mary Loveland, Margaret Weisbrod Morris, Fatima Khan, James Hollinger, William "Bill" Roth, Steve Wallace, Mitzi Robinson, Syed A. Jamal, Kyung Hwang, Melissa Johnson, Jo Ann Trenary, Linda J. Sheppard, Jesse Brinson, Daneka Vann, Ruben Flores, John Rury, Lori Hutfles and Norine Spears.

Craig Comstock, one of the applicants, told the Journal-World on Tuesday that he planned on officially withdrawing his application during Monday's school board meeting. In light of ongoing equity issues in the school district, Comstock said he would instead urge the board to consider one of the several people of color who applied to the position.

"I don't feel awesome about taking people's time, but I do feel good about amplifying with my voice the need for selecting someone who has a more vested interest and experience to draw from in dealing with the equity issues," Comstock said.

Profiles of applicants to fill vacancy on USD 497 school board
The Journal-World has published information, as it became available, on applications for the spot vacated by Lawrence school board member Kristie Adair.

March 10 — Lori Hutfles
March 10 — Norine Spears
March 9 — Ruben Flores
March 9 — John Rury
March 8 — Jo Ann Trenary
March 8 — Jesse Brinson
March 7 — Linda J. Sheppard
March 7 — Melissa Johnson
March 6 — Kyung Hwang
March 3 — Syed A. Jamal
March 2 — Mitzi Robinson
March 1 — Steve Wallace
March 1 — William “Bill” Roth
Feb. 28 — James Hollinger
Feb. 25 — Dr. Fatima Khan
Feb. 24 — Margaret Weisbrod Morris
Feb. 23 — Mary Loveland

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