Archive for Thursday, March 19, 2009

Candidate relates to all demographics

March 19, 2009

It was Basehor-Linwood’s welcoming attitude that first drew Leigh Farris to the school board elections.

The mother of two Basehor-Linwood Bobcats, sophomore Jessica and freshman Ellen, Farris is a candidate with a lot of experience in the education arena.

“I have always been involved in my kids’ education,” Farris said. “That’s something that’s always been important to me.”

Both of Farris' daughters were home schooled until Jessica was a freshman and Ellen was an eighth-grader. At this time, the girls participated in the district’s virtual school and took some electives in the schools with other students. Farris said the whole family was impressed with Basehor-Linwood.

“We looked at other schools, and we talked about it a lot,” Farris said. “But we all decided that this district just felt right. It just felt good, and we have been so happy with the transition. Everyone, from the administration to the teachers, has been so welcoming.”

Farris' experiences home schooling her children, using the virtual school and moving into full-time schooling at the high school have given her some well-rounded insight.

“I have a parent’s perspective from both inside and outside of the classrooms,” she said.

Before she had children, Farris worked in the medical field as an Emergency Medical Technician, and she was a police officer in Kansas City, Mo. She has worked for Mary Kay Cosmetics for several years, and she just started her own personal training business called Life Simply Balanced.

Helping people is one of Farris’ passions, and she says she believes serving on the school board could be a way for her to help members of the district and the community.

Farris said people from all walks of life could relate to her in some way.

“I represent everyone,” she said. “I represent wives, mothers, workers, students. I’ve handled all sorts of situations with people and business and budgets and life in general.”

The Basehor-Linwood budget reduction, Farris said, will not be a solely negative thing for the district. Farris said that such cost-saving measures could have some positive effects on the schools.

“I see this as a way to simplify and prioritize,” she said. “It’s kind of a way to get back to basics, to get back to what’s really important and what the students and teachers really need.”

Farris said USD 458 had done an excellent job thus far of trying to fix the budget without sacrificing student or staff necessities, and she wanted to help the board as it continued to plan for its financial future.

Above all else, Farris said she possessed some well-known traits that would carry her through the election and throughout her term on the board, if elected.

“People who know me know I’m honest, and they know I don’t play popular politics,” she said. “I do what’s right, not what’s popular, and that’s exactly what I’d bring to the board of education.”

The last day to register to vote is Monday, March 23, and the general election is Tuesday, April 7.

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