Education First Shawnee Mission releases Board of Education endorsements

Voters this fall will cast ballots in elections for three contested seats for the Shawnee Mission Board of Education.

Education First Shawnee Mission, the political action committee formed in 2017 to promote strong public schools in the area, has released its endorsements for this fall’s school board elections.

The November election has the potential to significantly remake a board that already saw three newcomers seated in place of long-serving incumbents last cycle. Incumbent at-large member and current board president Brad Stratton is running unopposed, but the other three seats up in this year’s cycle have drawn competitive races. And two of the incumbents in those seats decided against running for reelection, meaning the eventual winner will be a newcomer.

Education First says it “heavily vetted candidates” through written questionnaires and face-to-face interviews, with responses coded on a rubric that assigned candidates scores based on the group’s priority issues: transparency, cultural competency, budget, special education and a positive working culture for teachers, support staff and administrators. The written questionnaires and interview scripts used in the vetting process are available on the group’s website here.

“As moms and advocates, we are very excited to announce our endorsements,” said Megan Peters, chair of the group. “We are pleased with the progress we’ve made since the 2017 Board of Education elections and look forward to bringing more transparency and contemporary values to our school board in 2019.”

The group’s endorsements are as follows:

  • Shawnee Mission Northwest Seat – Devin Wilson
  • Shawnee Mission South Seat – Jessica Hembree
  • Shawnee Mission North Seat – Sara Goodburn (Incumbent)