Archive for Thursday, March 10, 2005

Education natural for board candidate

March 10, 2005

Editor's note: In anticipation of the April 5 Lansing City Council and School Board elections, The Current is profiling each of the candidates. We begin this week with the two school board incumbents.

Karalin Alsdurf says she's been in school her whole life. So it's only natural that she would run for a position on the school board.

Alsdurf has a bachelor's degree in business for secondary education and a master's degree in adult and continuing education. She taught high school before she began working at Kansas City, Kan., Community College, where she was director of distance education and the high school partnership program coordinator before becoming executive director of KCKCC - Leavenworth Center.

Alsdurf is running unopposed to fill the unexpired term of Michelle Fattig-Smith on the Lansing School Board. Alsdurf was appointed in August to take the seat of Fattig-Smith, who moved out of the district.

Alsdurf said when she moved to Lansing six years ago, she chose it because of the schools. She said she was impressed by the relatively small size and academic quality of the district.

Her first involvement with the district was two years on the middle school site council, which Alsdurf described as an advisory group made up of parents, educators and each school's principal. She said she liked her work on the site council and wanted to become more involved in the schools, so she applied for the open school board position.

"As a parent, you know where your student is," she said. "On the school board, you see the bigger picture."

One of the biggest issues she has dealt with in her short tenure on the board is the school bond issue, but other issues that concern her include the high cost of health insurance for teachers and the large number of teachers who are nearing retirement.

"We've got to realize that it's going to happen," she said of teachers retiring. "We know they aren't going to teach forever."

Alsdurf said passing the bond issue could at least help with the issue of attracting new teachers. She said a new elementary school would be a selling point, not only for new teachers but for other families moving into the area. It's the school board's responsibility to provide the resources so facilities and teachers can continue to meet the mandates of No Child Left Behind, she said.

"A good school system impacts the quality of life in your community," Alsdurf said. "We need to keep looking for opportunities we can provide to be competitive."

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