SMSD News: Thank you to the Shawnee Mission Board of Education

January is National Board of Education Appreciation Month, and here in Shawnee Mission we would like to thank our Board of Education members for the work they do in leading the district and advocating for public education.

For 50 years, the Shawnee Mission School District has been governed by a seven-member volunteer Board of Education, elected by the Shawnee Mission community. Our Board is responsible for policymaking, adopting the budget, and approving personnel, curriculum and other business matters. The Board hires the superintendent and oversees the superintendent’s responsibilities and performance.

In 2019, under the direction of the Board of Education, the district underwent a community- based strategic planning process. The plan, passed by the Board in June, 2019, will drive the district’s work for the next five years and beyond, ensuring that each student will have a personalized learning plan that prepares them for college and career, with the interpersonal skills necessary for life success.

Due to a change in state law, board elections have moved to November of odd-numbered years. This past fall, two members who each had served on the Board for 12 years decided to retire. Patty Mach, SM Northwest representative, and Deb Zila, SM South representative, were thanked for their service at a reception in early January.

At the January 13, 2020 Board of Education meeting, four board members were sworn into office: Jamie Borgman (new), Sara Goodburn, Jessica Hembree (new) and Brad Stratton. They joined Laura Guy, Heather Ousley and Mary Sinclair on the board. Ms. Ousely was unanimously elected to serve as board president, and Dr. Sinclair was unanimously voted to serve as board vice-president.

Please join us in thanking our school board members for volunteering their time to fulfill this very important civic responsibility, and for advocating on behalf of every child in the Shawnee Mission School District. We appreciate the magnitude of the work they do, and our children and this community are stronger for their service.

This is a paid editorial placement.