- Former Teacher, Principal, Asst. Superintendent for Wichita Public Schools
- Former Asst. Dean for College of Education at Wichita State University
- BA & Masters Degrees in Education And Specialist Degree in Administration, Wichita State University
- Current USD 259 Board member, president
Married for 48 years, three sons, eight grandchildren.
What issues will you make a top priority for Wichita Public Schools?
“Wichita Public Schools (WPS) must never lose sight of providing a high quality education for ALL students. My priority is making sure every student is successfully prepared for 21st century jobs or advanced education. This means focusing on the classroom first. We also have to look differently at how we engage the parents, community and businesses’ in a partnership. There must be a laser focus on the classroom and each individual child.”
If additional budget cuts come from Topeka, how do you plan to address those cuts for Wichita schools? What areas/programs would be the first to be cut and what areas/programs would be most important to save?
“As WPS has to absorb multi-million dollar cuts ($54 million in the last 6 years and $7.6 million this school year), it becomes clear that everything must be re-evaluated. I will work to protect our classrooms and teachers, by taking cuts in other areas, pulling all unspent money from this year’s budget, monitoring new hires, looking at every department, division, program and activity. Any cut will be questioned by some but I will always be using the filter of how does this help students succeed.”
What specific one issue do you think deserves your immediate attention and how to you plan to address it?
“The elephant in the room is the budget cuts from the state. I vow to stay focused on education but must simultaneously use my past budget experience to find how to help individual students and still reduce the budget by millions of dollars. There have been no increases in taxes since I have been on the Board. In fact, last year the mill levy was lowered by 3.6 mills. We are taxed enough. That means that the board and administration must work together by looking at everything to find ways to reduce the budget. This could include reducing or cutting long established budget items. I am committed to this task and am prepared to spend the time and energy listening to the community and parents to make the best decisions possible for the district and students.”