SM East PTA says goodbye to Krawitz, hello to new officers

Lauri Bledsoe and Randy Davis are the new co-presidents for the SM East PTA.

It was a day for firsts and lasts Tuesday for the SM East PTA. At the last meeting of the year, the group installed what is believed to be its first male president (technically co-president) in Randy Davis and said goodbye to departing SM East principal Karl Krawitz.

Davis will serve as co-president next year with Lauri Bledsoe. A retired Merriam police officer, Davis is not new to PTA service. He also was co-president at Indian Hills Middle School. More men have taken PTA leadership roles in Shawnee Mission Schools in recent years, but Davis is the first in the role at SM East, according to long-time members.

The group also said farewell to Dr. Karl Krawitz, who is leaving after five years leading the school. Krawitz had shunned a party to mark his retirement, but PTA members used the occasion to mark the transition.

“I have never been in a building where parent support has been greater,” Krawitz said. “The thing we need to do in this country more than anything else is invest in our kids.” He noted the struggles with school funding, but of the SM East community he said: “I never had to worry about making …. state assessments. It is a tremendous staff working with parents who care.”