Brian Brown, who has served as the chair of the NEJC Chamber’s government affairs committee since 2013 and is a member of the United Community Services of Johnson County’s board, announced this week that he will seek the SM South area seat on the Shawnee Mission Board of Education in the November elections.
Deb Zila, who has held the seat for the past dozen years, said she had decided against seeking a new term.
“I will not be seeking re-election for a fourth term,” Zila said via email. “I believe Brian Brown will do an excellent job on the Shawnee Mission School District Board Of Education, and I fully support his candidacy.”
Brown’s family has long ties to the district, with his father graduating from SM South in 1968 and Brown graduating from SM West in 1987. He currently has two children enrolled in the district — a son at Brookridge Elementary and a daughter at Indian Woods Middle School.
Brown said that the changing demographics of the district — with growing socioeconomic and racial diversity — provide an opportunity for reimagining how the school board approaches its decision making. Saying that the district has “historically had very strong leadership,” Brown said he feels “that the Shawnee Mission School District has a great opportunity to evolve under [Superintendent] Dr. [Mike] Fulton’s guidance.”
“The district has an opportunity to develop parallel to its community,” Brown said in a statement. “Doing this, I feel, will help meet needs of all its stakeholders – young families seeking affordable housing within a quality school district; businesses seeking to provide jobs in an area where employees desire to live, work, and play; aging adults on fixed incomes worrying about their property values; shifting ethnic demographics; and students that wish to have educational activities that provide equitable access to all individuals and yield non-marginalized outcomes.”
Brown is employed by TeamHealth, and has also been a active member of the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce, serving as the board chair of the group in 2017.
Brown is the first candidate to declare for the SM South area seat.
Brian Koon, a public education advocate who works as an aide in Olathe Public Schools, has filed to run for the SM North area seat.
And incumbent Brad Stratton, who is serving as president of the board this year, has filed for re-election to his at-large seat.