SBR: KASB celebrates 100 years of service

KASB celebrated its centennial anniversary at its annual conference in Wichita by reflecting on its past of service to public education and preparing for a future that promises to be dominated by rapid change.

From Friday through Sunday, more than 500 school board members and administrators from across the state attended the event, which offered dozens of educational sessions, leadership training, school visits and more than 100 exhibitors.

In the general session keynote address, Matt Beaudreau, a millennial expert from The Center for Generation Kinetics, talked about the characteristics of millennials, who are quickly becoming the largest and most influential demographic group in society.

He noted that for the first time in history, there are five distinct generations of people working in schools and that presents challenges and opportunities.

KASB Executive Director John Heim also mapped out what the future holds by noting that during KASB’s 100 years of existence debates and struggles over human rights, funding, safety and employee relations have dominated each generation.

Shannon Kimball, who is president of the Lawrence USD 497 school board, was elected President-Elect-Designee by the KASB Delegate Assembly.

Kimball said she will work to ensure that KASB remains the voice of public education and continues to counter the false narrative of failing schools. Her term as president will start in July, 2019.

The Delegate Assembly approved the Legislative Committee report, which includes KASB policies and positions for the coming year, and regional elections were conducted for Region 1, 8 and 9. Elected were Jason Winbolt (Spring Hill USD 230, Region 1); Gary Yost (Otis-Bison USD 403, Region 8) and Brad Bergsma (Goodland USD 352, Region 9).

Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson provided an update on the Mercury and Gemini school redesign programs and Deputy Commissioner Dale Dennis and Craig Neuenswander, director of the school finance team, gave attendees an overview on the school finance battle that lies ahead.

Students from schools in Hays, Lawrence and Topeka received their awards for the 2017 Westar STEM Curriculum grants and KASB’s 13th class of Leadership for Tomorrow graduated.

And in a special ceremony to celebrate KASB’s 100 years of service, 25 former presidents attended a banquet and led a conversation, reflecting on KASB’s history.

An inspirational session was led by former KASB Executive Director John Koepke, who served with KASB for 40 years, including 27 years as its leader.

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