Archive for Thursday, July 13, 2006

School board elects new president

Mueller completes 12-year tenure as leader of Basehor-Linwood board

July 13, 2006

A 12-year era on the Basehor-Linwood school board ended Monday night.

School board members, during their annual organizational meeting, elected Randy Cunningham as president. Cunningham replaces Kerry Mueller, who had served as president of the school board since July 1994. The vote was unanimous, with board member Doug Bittel absent.

Cunningham, during an interview, said he believes the transition will be seamless.

"I want us to continue to grow this district to be the district that we want it to be," he said. "It's not anything different from what the other president was doing. We just want it to be the best it can be.

"I don't think the change in leadership for the board is going to change any of that."

Cunningham is in his eighth year as a school board member and served as vice president for several years during his first two terms. His present term expires in 2009.

He said the board won't ask voters this year to approve a bond issue for new schools.

"We're looking forward to putting together another bond proposal," he said. "That's not going to happen this year. We're hoping we can put one together that everyone will like and that we can get passed. That will be a big priority for us."

And the day-to-day operation of the district will rest with Robert Albers, the district's new superintendent, who Cunningham described as a "really, really super guy who really knows his business."

The district this spring was mired in turmoil, as the board agreed to place then-Superintendent Jill Hackett on administrative leave and was prepared to fire her -- until she resigned.

"We, as a board and a district, have moved on, and we have to," Cunningham said. "We're looking forward to a new school year. ... We have such great people in place now that my job as the president of the board is going to be pretty easy."

Mueller nominated Cunningham for the post, after hearing of his interest in the job.

"Nobody else ever expressed interest in the position," she said. "Every year, I'd ask, does anybody else want to do it? Or make a statement that I'd do it if nobody else wants to. ... This year, somebody else expressed an interest, and that's fine with me. Move it around. I don't care."

Mueller, whose term expires in a year, joined the board in November 1992, filling an unexpired term. She ran for election in 1993 and was named board vice president in July of that year. The following year, she was voted president of the board.

It's too early, she said, to decide whether she'll run for another term.

"I haven't thought about it," she said. I typically don't until closer to the time that you have to file."

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