Archive for Thursday, January 11, 2001

School board seeks candidates to fill openings

January 11, 2001

With three positions open on the Basehor-Linwood Board of Education this year, the school district is faced with a lack of potential candidates in the upcoming election.

Currently, there hasn't been any interest from the public in filling the positions, Acting Superintendent Cal Cormack said.

Board members Chris Coy, position No. 4, Pete Bever, position No. 5 and Craig Owsley, position No. 6, have voluntarily served the school district through a successful bond issue and building campaign. However, they have decided for personal reasons not to run again in April.

"We're in a transition of having a successful bond issue and building phase and are now looking inward at educational programming," Cormack said.

In an effort to spark interest in the open positions, the school board will have a public informational meeting Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 6 p.m., at the Haney Board of Education Meeting Room prior to its regular meeting.

Board members will explain the challenges and responsibilities of serving on the board at the meeting and will answer any other questions those in attendance may have.

The school district hopes the meeting sparks enough interest in the positions to have several people file for election before the noon, Jan. 23 filing deadline, Cormack said.

"I don't think it's overwhelming (board member responsibility), but it takes commitment," he said.

The school district is divided into three territories. Two representatives are elected from each territory and one position is an at-large representative.

School board positions one and four cover north of Parallel to Dempsey, and boarded by 183rd Street on the west and K-7 Highway on the east.

Positions two and five serve the central district, which is bordered by Parallel to the north, Hemphill Road on the south (the Sherman Township Boundary Line), 142nd Street to the east and 182nd Street to the west.

Positions three and six cover the largest district, which is bordered between the Kansas River and Hemphill Road to the south and north and Leavenworth County Road 2 on the east and Leavenworth County Road 1 to the west.

The seventh position is at-large, representing the entire district.

Board members are voluntary, non-paid representatives and meet once a month. They also have to attend about four special planning sessions a year to discuss bonds, building projects, budgets and other district issues.

"As the school district grows in complexity, we'll probably go to six instead of four," Cormack said.

School board members are encouraged to attend school functions and are invited to several each year. It doesn't mean they have to attend all the functions and there is the occasional phone call from patrons.

"It's a helpful way for someone to get actively involved in the larger community," the superintendent said.

The primary responsibility of the school board is to act as an oversight entity for the school district participating strategic planning and policy making, which is then turned over to the district's administration to enact. Day-to-day operations fall under the school superintendent and his or her administration.

According to the Kansas Association of School Boards, to legal qualify for office, a member must be a registered voter in the school district and cannot be employed by the school board he or she serves on.

If school board members are elected from certain areas of the district rather than at-large, they must live within the district they are seeking to represent. School board members serve staggered, four-year terms so all school members are not up for re-election at once.

Election are conducted the first Tuesday of April on the odd-number years, and if more than two persons file for a position, a primary election will take place on the Tuesday five weeks prior to the general election.

Although the school is gearing up to look at educational programs and inward functions of the district, with more growth anticipated, Cormack isn't ruling out that the school board will be dealing with expansion in the future.

Cormack said the current board works well together and he hopes that the new members will only enhance what the district all ready possess.

"We have a board as congenial and as unified as I have been involved with in the district," he said.

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