There will be a contested race for the SM Northwest seat being vacated by longtime incumbent Patty Mach on the school board.
Jamie Borgman, who has three children attending Shawnee Mission schools in the SM Northwest feeder area, announced today that she’s entering the race. She plans to file at the Johnson County Election Office this afternoon, noting that she chose today in part because it is International Women’s Day.
Devin Wilson, the legislative co-chair of the Shawnee Mission Area council PTA, announced he was seeking the seat in December following Mach’s decision against seeking a fourth term.
Borgman is a former television news producer at KMBC who currently works as a senior account executive at Guardant Health. A native of Topeka, she graduated from Topeka West High School before going on to earn her degree at Kansas State University.
Borgman, who has been involved in site councils at Christa McAuliffe Elementary and Trailridge Middle School in addition to the district-wide site council, said she had been considering making a run for the board for some time, and that she was motivated to run based on three primary issues:
- Closing the achievement gap and helping Shawnee Mission realize “equitable and inclusive achievements in academics.”
- Addressing growing needs to support student mental health, an issue she notes is of particular interest in the SM Northwest area following the loss of two students to suicide last year.
- Ensuring that the district’s one-to-one digital learning initiative is leading to beneficial educational outcomes. “I see my kids come home and spending time on their devices and they’re spending a lot of time on them at school,” she said. “As a district I want to make sure we find the sweet spot where it’s a positive part of learning.”
With a child in elementary school, a child in middle school and a child in high school, Borgman said, she’s got a broad view of the issues facing schools and kids at every level.
“I am definitely plugged into what’s going on in our district because we’re in the thick of it with our kids,” she said. “I love connecting with families at events, volunteering on PTA committees, site councils, you name it.”
Borgman is also the founder of the SMSD Circle of Kindness Service Day, which brings kids from various elementaries together in community service projects.
“That came out of this feeling that there were a lot of us parents who were tired of kids being bombarded with violence and negativity,” she said. “We wanted them to feel like they were in charge of something positive and good.”
The school board elections will be Tuesday, Nov. 5.