Lisa Feingold, the mother of a rising SM North freshman and a district food services employee since 2010, has entered the race for the SM North representative position on the board of education, expanding the field of candidates vying for the seat to three.
Brian Koon, a public education advocate who works as an English Language Learner aide at Olathe Public Schools, was the first to file for the seat back in February. Incumbent Sara Goodburn announced she would seek a third term in her seat two weeks ago.
Feingold has been active in the Merriam Park Elementary and Hocker Grove Middle School PTAs during her son’s time at the schools. On her campaign website, she says that she was motivated to run for the seat by what she sees as an increasingly “tense and restrictive” climate in the administration’s interactions with staff and students.
“I see this taking a toll on our students’ educational success and overall mental health and well being,” she writes. “When I’ve asked administrators to help me understand the shift, asked questions about student policies, new standards and curriculum, why teachers are not being supported, and asked the SMSD Board of Education for clarification about their policies, I’ve been misled and given generalizations — or nothing at all — in response. As parents and otherwise invested community members, we have a choice: We can either get involved to make positive change, or disconnect and hope someone else will do something…[I’m] giving running for school board a shot.”
Feingold graduated from SM South before heading to KU for college. She worked for a number of years as a public benefits specialist and patient advocate before her son was born. A Merriam resident since 2006, she took a job in the district’s food services department when her son started attending kindergarten in the district.
Should she win, she would be required by district policy to resign from her position as an employee with the food services department.
Under statute, a three-candidate field for a school board election does not trigger a primary, so unless a fourth candidate files for the seat before the deadline June 3, all three candidates will appear on the general election ballot in November.