• What experience do you have that prompted you to run for this position? My experience as an educator began when I was a graduate teaching assistant at Kansas State University. In addition, I served as an adjunct professor at Bethel College before starting a career in public education, first as a Parent Educator for Parents as Teachers, then as a Business Education teacher at Newton High School, and currently as an Assessment Coordinator for Wichita Public Schools. As a parent educator, I worked with parents on the importance of providing educational activities for children from birth to age three. While a teacher at Newton High, in addition to teaching computer and personal finance classes, I worked with placing students in local businesses to gain real-world experience. As an assessment coordinator, my responsibilities include scheduling, administering, and analyzing state and local tests and related data. I have also presented at educational conferences at the national, state, and local levels. As a parent I am involved in my children’s education and see the positive benefits of quality teachers, enriching academic programs, and an extensive range of extra-curricular activities. My experiences in this district as a student, parent and teacher have equipped me to effectively serve on the board.

• Education:

2005 — School Leadership License, Baker University; 1993 — masters of science in family life education and consultation from Kansas State University; 1989 — bachelor of education in business education from Wichita State University; 1986 — bachelor of science in business administration from Oklahoma Christian University; 1982 — Newton High School.

• Job: assessment coordinator, Wichita, USD 259

• Family: Husband, Roger; son, Andrew, a freshman at Oklahoma Christian University; daughter, Emily, sophomore at Newton High School

• Community and public service: Member, Newton High School Athletic Hall of Fame board; former member, Newton Chamber of Commerce.

• Why running: I am running for the board of education because I care about the students and staff and feel I have the qualifications to be an effective member. Having been a student, parent, and teacher in this district allows me to see issues from a variety of standpoints. I understand the opportunities and challenges we face, from budget issues to improving student achievement. The quality of our educational system is critical to not only those directly involved in the schools, but the community and area businesses. Preparing students to successfully enter post-secondary education or the workforce is a top priority.

• What challenges does the school district face in the next four years? What would you do to address those challenges? Challenges that the school district will face in the next four years include funding issues, recruiting and retaining quality staff, increasing student achievement, providing affordable health insurance, and maintaining a range of opportunities to meet the needs of all students. As diverse and difficult as these challenges are, they present an opportunity to build on the district’s successes and strengthen areas that need improvement.

• What differentiates you from your opponents? I am on the only candidate who has experience in this district as a student, parent and teacher. In addition, I have dedicated my professional life to education. This allows me to be on the forefront of changes and challenges that arise, and gives me the opportunity to collaborate with educational professionals about potential solutions for these challenges.

• What would you do to improve student achievement? The quality of teachers is crucial to the improvement of student achievement. We must recruit and retain the highest quality of teachers possible. In addition, we must provide top-notch professional development opportunities to ensure our teachers have the tools for meaningful professional growth and to keep student achievement moving forward. Students must be given multiple opportunities for success. I am proud Newton offers an extensive range of extra-curricular opportunities. The Career and Technical Education programs attract students from many neighboring counties, and provide an essential skill building opportunity for our students. Our Fine Arts programs are top-notch, and our facilities need to match the quality of our staff. We offer a full range of academic and athletic opportunities for Newton kids. As with the Fine Arts and Career and Technical programs, we must strive to support and maintain these programs on behalf of our students.