Shawnee Mission School Board candidates make last appeals for today’s vote

The knocking on doors is done. The campaign literature has been handed out. The yard signs have all been planted.


The four candidates hoping to fill the at-large seat on the Shawnee Mission School Board have put in their closing arguments. Now it’s up to the voters to decide which three of the four candidates will make it on to the April 5 general election ballot.

We caught up with the candidates last night and asked them to tell us the one thing they hoped voters would keep in mind as they walked into their voting booths:

Bart Altenbernd, Prairie Village:


“I’d want people to keep in mind that there is no one that has more experience than I do in public schools. I’ve worked in education in some form or another for 37 years. I’ve been a paraprofessional, a teacher, a coach, and a principal. I think that experience matters. But beyond that, I say just go out there and vote. There’s nothing wrong with any of the candidates.”

Mark Anderson, Mission Hills:


“I think I’d bring a fresh set of eyes and a new perspective. I have a track record of getting results, and I’d love to have the opportunity and the honor to lend my experience and fresh perspective to the board.”

Joan Leavens, Overland Park:

“I hope voters will think about what is best for the whole district. We’re a strong community with strong support for schools. I think voters should make the choice they think will be best for the future of the district.”

St. Clair

John St. Clair, Fairway:

“I have the most extensive business and political experience of any of the candidates, which I think is vitally important to being able to hit the ground running and face the financial issues the district is dealing with. I also think it’s important that we form partnerships with our communities and find ways to ‘re-green’ the district and bring new families in.”

Just a reminder that polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today. Click here to find your polling place.