Archive for Thursday, January 29, 2009

Candidates seek three school board positions

January 29, 2009

Seven people will seek election to the Eudora USD 491 Board of Education.

The terms of board members Brenda Clark, Bob Rice and Jim Martin will end, with only Clark seeking re-election.

Joining the race with her will be Michael Kelso, Mike Howard, Dr. Dan Dickerson, Mike Warner, Eric Votaw and Keith Nowland.

Michael Kelso, 44, is a systems manager with DST and has lived in Eudora for about 16 years. He said his professional experience would be especially helpful during the current financial crisis.

“Particularly with the economic issues surrounding the school district, state and nation, I think a whole lot of thought needs to go into how the budget is structured,” Kelso said. “I also want to give back to the community, especially after they supported me during my fight with cancer.”

Mike Howard, 38, is a vice president of lighting manufacturing company Mercer Zimmerman. He has lived in Eudora for about three years.

“I’ve got two young daughters who will be in the district’s schools for several years to come, so I’d like to give back to the community,” Howard said.

Howard also praised the district for its recent meeting to discuss its priorities in light of possible budget cuts.

Dr. Dan Dickerson, 44, is a family physician and clinical instructor at KU Medical Center

He has lived in Eudora for about six years and said student success would be his top priority.

“We’re entering some tough times in the economy and the schools are going to feel the pinch,” Dickerson said. “During these tough times, we need people who will make education of children the number one priority. Sometimes, the focus is too much on the buildings.”

Mike Warner, 55, is an assistant U.S. attorney for the Federal Prosecutor in the Western District of Missouri. He has lived in Eudora for about five years. He hopes to maintain the quality of education that students in the district, including his 11-year-old stepdaughter, currently receive.

“I have a desire to volunteer and be engaged a little but more in community service,” Warner said.

Eric Votaw, 32, is a senior corporate credit manager for Freightquote.com

He was born and raised in Eudora and said he has a passion for the educational system from which he graduated.

“I’m eager to serve the community, and that point was driven home even more after I had three kids of my own,” Votaw said. “I want the best opportunity for them and all students of Eudora.”

Keith Nowland, 44, runs State Farm Insurance in Eudora. He has lived in Eudora for about four years.

He has experience as a teacher and a principal in Missouri.

“Schools are the foundation for positive growth,” Nowland said.

He also noted that he was ready to make the tough decisions that will need to be made as a result of the economic crisis.

Brenda Clark, 56, has served on the board of education for the last 12 years and is the secretary and treasurer for East Central Kansas Cooperative in Education.

She said she wanted to continue to be a part of the success of students, as well as see the district through the current economic hardships.

According to Douglas County Clerk Jamie Shew, there will be no primary for elections in Douglas County.

The general election will be April 7.

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