League of Women Voters
Jul 19, 2023
Vote411.org Candidate Profile
Juris Doctor, Magna Cum Laude, University of Michigan Law School; Bachelor of Arts with Highest Distinction, Spanish & Political Science, University of Kansas
257 Earhart Circle
Lawrence, KS, 66049
Lawrence Public Schools Board of Education, member 2011-present (3x president, 3x vice-president) ; Kansas Association of School Boards, board of directors member 2016-2023 (regional vice-president, president-elect, president, and past-president); National School Boards Action Center, board of directors member 2020-2022; Governor Laura Kelly's Council on Tax Reform, member 2019-2021; Lawrence Public Schools Elementary School Facility Vision Task Force, member 2010-11; National School Boards Association, policy committee member 2018-2022; League of Women Voters of Lawrence-Douglas County, member 2011-present
As a dedicated public education advocate with a dozen years of experience as a member of the USD 497 Board of Education, I have a deep understanding of the needs of our community, and of the challenges that our schools face. I have the knowledge and skills to continue leading the district forward. I am committed to finding creative solutions and holding the district accountable to meeting the needs of our students, staff, and families.
4000 W. 6th St. Suite B #278 Lawrence, KS 66049
What do you think is expected of you as a commissioner/board member?
District stakeholders expect that, as a board member, I will be a creative, collaborative problem solver while also holding the district accountable to its mission, vision, goals, and strategic plan. Board members should do the essential work of their positions—hiring and evaluating the superintendent, setting district policy, monitoring student achievement, allocating resources—with integrity and transparency. I know that as I board member, I must have a thorough understanding of public education policy and be willing to advocate for the needs of students, staff, and families at a local, state, and national level.
What role do you think policy plays in the functioning of your position?
Creating and evaluating policy is a core function of school boards. Board members need to know what the district’s policies are and how those policies impact the work that happens within the district. Board members also need a solid understanding of how the board reviews and revises district policy. And obviously but also very importantly, board members must follow district policy in their own board work.
What kind of relationship should a board member or commissioner have with the community (including parents and families)?
School board members must be active community members and be engaged in seeking out input from their constituents. This means more than just listening to public comment at board meetings. It means engaging with a diverse network of stakeholders within the district, including students, staff, parents, and other members of the community. It means participating in a wide range of school district and community activities. It also means accessing opportunities to learn and improve upon their governance skills and their knowledge about public education. I do all of these things regularly in my work as a board member, to ensure that I have a well-informed and balanced set of perspectives informing each decision I am asked to make.
What responsibilities do board members/commissioners have in regards to advocacy?
School board members must be advocates for the needs of students and staff in their districts. In addition, board members have an obligation to advocate for public education more broadly. This advocacy needs to take place locally, through building relationships with other local government bodies; at the state level through building strong relationships with local legislators, State Board of Education members, and other statewide education leaders; and nationally, through informing our Congressional delegation about the needs of public education. To increase the impact of these advocacy efforts, I have led the USD 497 board’s work over a number of years to draft and adopt legislative priorities to share with our Lawrence representatives.