Name and office sought:
Piper School Board
Business Office Specialist
Overland Park Surgery Center
Bachelor of Science Business Administration
Kansas State University, 1989
Organizations, clubs, groups to which you belong
Piper School Board (Current Vice President)—8 years
Piper PTA (Former President)—14 years
Piper Booster Club (Treasurer)—5 years
Piper Auction Committee (Current Chair)—5 years
Sacred Heart Auction Committee—8 years
Sacred Heart Baptism Prep Team
Bethel College Booster Club Member
Reasons for running
I am active in Piper Schools and have been for 14 years. I am frequently in our schools and our offices. I speak with students, with parents, and with teachers. More importantly than speaking to them, I listen. I hear their issues. I respond and react to their issues. I truly take their issues to heart and want to help find a workable solution, whenever possible.
I believe in our community and I believe in our children. Our district motto is “Building the future one child at a time.” These aren’t just words to me. I believe wholeheartedly that every child matters, that every child can succeed. It is our job as parents, as a community and as a school board to make sure that each and every child counts and we are accountable to them and for them. I believe that in my 8 years on the school board, I have contributed to positive change in our district. While we have made great strides, I feel that there is still work to be done, that we must continue to work towards a common goal.
What is your top campaign issue?
If I have to pick one issue, I would say that the looming issue is that each of our schools is near capacity. I feel like the upcoming bond election provides a solution to this problem and will solve overcrowding for decades to come.
There may be budget constraints facing local governments and schools. If you had to make cuts, what would be at the top of the list to cut?
There is no “right” answer to this question. We have weathered many financial crises in the past and will weather this one as well. For me, it has always been critical that budget cuts do not directly touch the students and their families. We, as a board, have resisted the path that many districts have taken. We do not charge for all day kindergarten, we do not charge for busing. We have not raised book fees, pay-to-play fees, or frozen the salaries of our staff. We have been recognized as one of the most efficient districts in the state and this comes through hard work and continual planning. Budget cuts will be necessary, but they can be achieved without impacting the education of our children.
If you are an incumbent, list your top accomplishments in office. If you are not an incumbent, what would you change?
I cannot personally claim a “top accomplishment.” I am one member of a board and we all bring something different to the table. Our accomplishments over the last 8 years have been extensive. We have received over 70 Standard of Excellence distinctions since 2005. We have increased academic rigor, strengthened our graduation requirements, and our ACT scores rank in the top 10 percent of schools in the 21-county metro area. I am proud of all of these things. I am most proud that I have always stood up for my beliefs and stood up for our students and staff. I am Piper Proud.
What is the difference, on the issues, between you and the other candidates running for this office?
I can’t speak out against the other candidates running for this position. To do so would be inappropriate as I believe that all of us are seeking the position with the heart to do something good for our community and for our children. I can personally say that I am not in this for the glory or the recognition. With this position comes headache and heartache at times. I seek this position because I know that through the headache and heartache, there is also great success.
Have you run for elected office previously? When, results?
I have successfully run for school board in 2007 and 2011.