Brian Koon announces candidacy for SM North area seat on Shawnee Mission school board

Brian Koon (right) and family. Photo credit Brian Koon for Kansas.

Brian Koon, a public education advocate who was briefly a candidate for an at-large seat on the board in 2017, announced today that he was seeking the SM North area seat on the Shawnee Mission board of education.

Koon, whose wife Beth is an art teacher at Belinder Elementary, has been actively involved in statewide education issues for several years. He was an early participant in the walks from Merriam to Topeka organized to draw attention to school funding issues. He spent time as a lobbyist for Kansas Families for Education. And he’s been a frequent attendee and speaker at Shawnee Mission board meetings over the years.

In announcing his candidacy, Koon indicated that increasing support for teachers was among his priorities, and that he wants “to help collaboratively find solutions to the challenges our district faces.”

“This election is about moving the Shawnee Mission School District forward and making sure ALL of our students have their needs meet,” Koon said in a release accompanying his announcement. “I understand what it’s like to struggle and still want the best possible education for your kids. As a school board member I want to ensure that students and teachers are given what they need to be successful in the classroom, so our students can be successful in life.”

The Koons have two children enrolled at Crestview Elementary school. In 2017, Brian became an English Language Learner aide. He is a member of the Kansas National Education Association teachers’ union.

Koon had filed to challenge at-large board member Cindy Neighbor in early 2017, but dropped out of the race and threw his support behind eventual winner Heather Ousley when she announced her candidacy.

The SM North area seat has been occupied by Sara Goodburn since 2011, after she won the election to replace Susan Metsker, who moved from her role on the board to work in the district office of then-Rep. Kevin Yoder.

Goodburn is not listed as having filed for re-election to the seat on the Johnson County Election Office website. We’ve put in a request for comment on whether she plans to seek a new term.