Archive for Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Nemchik becomes newest School Board member

June 12, 2002

Richard Nemchik's nature is to be of service whether in the community or for his country.

The Basehor resident has served in the military and has served his community as a volunteer police officer and firefighter.

Now, he can add serving his school district to the list.

Nemchik was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Basehor-Linwood School Board during a meeting Monday, June 12.

Nemchik said he had always wanted to serve in local government and when the position opened, he felt serving on the board would be a good opportunity.

"I've always wanted to get involved in government," Nemchik said. "(When I heard about the vacancy) I thought now's the time to act," he said.

The board vacancy was created by the April resignation of then School Board vice president Randy Cunningham, who resigned with a year left on his term.

Cunningham served seven years on the School Board. He resigned to spend more time with his family and business.

It was a critical time for the board to be a member short.

School Board members are working on next year's budget and are also meeting monthly to consider plans for future school construction.

With those items looming, school officials said the new board member would have to learn quickly while on the job.

"(He) is going to have a pretty rapid learning curve," board member Chris Claflin said.

Those impending factors may also have contributed to the lack of interest in the vacant position from community residents, school officials said.

There were only two candidates for the open position Monday night, Nemchik and Bob Walker.

However, Walker submitted his letter of application past the June 1 board deadline, so he wasn't considered for the position.

Nemchik said it was important he apply for the position because there weren't many applicants.

"I was willing to step up," he said. "Apparently there wasn't a lot of people knocking on the door."

The appointment of Nemchik was not an easy one for the board and it goes against a recommendation from the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB).

There were no problems with Nemchik as a candidate, but he could be named as an assistant coach for the Basehor-Linwood High School soccer team, and KASB said that could be problematic.

The Supreme Court has ruled that teachers from the school district cannot serve on school boards, director of operations Don Swartz said.

Swartz said he spoke with KASB about the possibility of a coach being on a school board. The KASB said there was no precedent set for a coach, Swartz said.

"They said you're in a gray area when it relates to coaching, maintenance or whatever," Swartz said.

"KASB recommendation is that we not become involved in that," he added.

Despite the recommendation, and some concern from school district Superintendent Cal Cormack, the School Board unanimously approved Nemchik's appointment, 5-0.

"The only reason I would be concerned is that we've been advised not to do so," Cormack said.

"But I like the man and I like his answers," he added.

Nemchik will be officially sworn in as a member of the school board Monday, June 17.

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