Archive for Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tax attorney brings experience, ideas to table during school board elections

February 19, 2009

Large budget cuts loom in the future for the Basehor-Linwood School District, but board candidate Richard Zamora has numbers on his side.

Zamora has been a tax attorney with H&R Block for 11 years, and he is the author of the national H&R Block income tax course. He sees his background in the tax world as an asset during the 2009 elections.

“I have a bad feeling about the budget,” Zamora said. “I have experience with numbers, and someone with that kind of experience could really benefit the district.”

While Zamora, originally from Kansas City, Kan., was earning his undergraduate degree at Harvard University, he started working at a Boys and Girls club in Boston. Zamora said that this was when he first discovered that he enjoyed being around and helping children.

Shortly after that, he moved back to Kansas and worked as a computer instructor in the Bonner Springs-Edwardsville School District.

Running for the Basehor-Linwood School Board, Zamora said, is a way for him to get back to helping children.

Zamora also has a personal interest in the area schools because his son, Jacob, attends Basehor-Linwood Middle School, and his daughter, Sonya, goes to Basehor Elementary School.

One of the things Zamora said he would like to focus on if he was on the board is keeping the schools’ curriculums challenging. He said that when he was at Harvard, he became aware that his peers were much more advanced than he after high school.

“I had the opportunity at Harvard to see how behind I was,” he said. “I was playing catch up for almost my entire school career.”

He said he didn’t want Basehor-Linwood students to feel behind when they went to college, and that to prevent that from happening, the schools needed to keep pushing students to succeed.

“It’s important to challenge students to do better and to make sure that there are programs available to those students who are excelling,” Zamora said. “I’d also like to see some college credit courses made available to high school students. That would be such an advantage for them.”

Zamora said that this was an interesting time to be running. He said he would enjoy being part of the USD 458 board that saw the opening of two new schools: the new intermediate school and the new middle school.

“Both of those schools are going to be great, and I am excited, either way, for them to open,” Zamora said.

If elected, Zamora said that above all else, he wanted to get the district’s priorities straight and make decisions in the best interest of the children in all the schools.

“I want to get things in line with what the kids really need,” Zamora said. The general election is Tuesday, April 7.

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