Mark your calendars, Shawnee Mission voters — we’ve finalized the times and locations for our two Shawnee Mission board of education candidate forums ahead of the primaries this August:
- On Saturday, July 15, we’ll hold a forum for the five candidates running for the at-large seat currently occupied by Cindy Neighbor. The forum will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Antioch branch of the Johnson County Library, 8700 Shawnee Mission Parkway in Merriam. We’ll have about 20 minutes of time for chit-chat before the formal forum program begins, and anticipate wrapping up the forum discussion by 10:30, so attendees will have half an hour or so to talk one-on-one to the candidates who are able to stay.
- On Saturday, July 22, we’ll hold a forum for the three candidates actively running for the SM West area representative seat currently occupied by Craig Denny. (Candidate Lee Biard filed for the seat, but has announced he does not plan to actively run). The forum will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Lenexa Senior Center, 13425 Walnut Street in Lenexa. The schedule and format will be the same as the previous week’s forum.
The candidates will have addressed a number of general topics in the questionnaires we’ll be publishing between July 10 and 14, so we intend to ask about some more specific issues during the forums. Those topics may include:
- The candidates’ views on the roles and responsibilities of board members
- The district’s piloting of its “Innovative Schools” model at Apache and Rising Star
- School funding in Kansas and how the board should interact with the legislature
- The role of libraries and librarians
- Practices for addressing student behavior problems
- The use of technology in the classroom and the amount of screen time students spend at Shawnee Mission schools.
As always, if you have additional topic ideas you’d like to suggest, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note that you can get a first look at the candidates discussing their views during forums hosted by the Shawnee Mission Area Council PTA July 5 and 6.