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Board of education election

Brittney Wilson, Co-Editor

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On Tuesday, Nov. 7, the citizens of the Washburn Rural school district cast their votes to elect two new Board of Education representatives. The new Board of Education members, Michael White and Jacquie Lightcap, will take office in January.

Michael White, District 6c winner, is excited to be given this opportunity. White campaigned against incumbent Amanda Kiefer, winning with 53 percent of the votes.

“An election against an incumbent is hard work and takes a lot of time and energy,” White said. “I am thrilled that the district constituents entrusted me to represent them on the board.”

With his new position, White will attain several responsibilities.

“As a Board of Education member we are responsible for the school district budget, capital improvements, curriculum approval and personnel decisions,” White said. “ We negotiate salaries and benefits for staff and are an advocate to promote our district.”

White says that he has always had an interest in running for the Board of Education because he has been in the district for 21 years and thinks it is a great school district.

I want to see additional money spent in our classrooms by increasing teacher salaries to remain competitive not only in Kansas, but in our surrounding states, keep classroom sizes small, increase technology in the classroom and increase opportunities for students in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics,”

— Michael White

“As I told voters over the last couple of months, I want to see additional money spent in our classrooms by increasing teacher salaries to remain competitive not only in Kansas, but in our surrounding states, keep classroom sizes small, increase technology in the classroom and increase opportunities for students in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics,” White said.

Beyond the budgeting and bargaining, White hopes to impact the lives of students.

“I honestly think our district is excelling in many areas. I am concerned that even though our overall ACT scores are increasing and above the state and national average, among some groups of students we are not seeing an increase.”

District 4a representative Jacquie Lightcap is equally excited to serve on the Board of Education. Lightcap ran unopposed.

“My mom, dad, grandmother, and great-grandmother were teachers so education was always super important as I was growing up. Now that I’m a parent, I have gained even more respect and appreciation for the work of our public schools,” Lightcap said. As I learned more about what the school board does by observing meetings, I realized I wanted to be more involved on a district-wide level.”

Lightcap has two children in the district, and she hopes this gives her perspective when making decisions that impact students.

“We have so many excellent things happening in our schools right now and I want to do what I can to support that and add my voice to the decision-making process. I think the perspective of a mom with students in the district is pretty important,” Lightcap said.

Lightcap is optimistic about the future of the district.

“I hope parents, teachers, staff, students, and community members know that their school board members are accessible and approachable and willing to hear their concerns and questions,” Lightcap said. “I may not know all the answers, but I know how to ask questions and find out. The school board is here as a voice for our community and welcomes input.”

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Board of education election