Kansas School Board Member Profiles

Share your story!

Dear Kansas School Board Member,

One of the great features of Kansas public schools is that they are operated at the local level by you — local board members who are elected by local voters.

Kansas school board members - you are our neighbors, co-workers, friends and relatives. We can talk to you at the grocery store, at sporting events or other public venues.

But sometimes your long hours of work and commitment on behalf of our students isn’t recognized. KASB wants to give you an opportunity to let the public know who you are and what makes you so passionate about Kansas public schools.

KASB would like to profile every school board member in Kansas, but we need your help. Please respond to these questions, send us a photo of yourself and we will feature your profile in our daily News Briefs email and social media. You may feel shy about doing this but sharing your passion with the public helps Kansas public education because it shows Kansans that their schools are in good hands.

Send your responses to Scott Rothschild at srothschild@kasb.org OR fill out and submit the form below.

Not sure? Contact Scott to learn more or how to nominate someone for a profile!


Here are the questions. If you can, please answer them in one or two sentences.

  • Name
  • School District
  • How long have you been a school board member?
  • Why did you decide to become a board member?
  • What do you do outside of being a board member?
  • What experience do you bring to the table that will improve your local school district?
  • As a board member, what is the top goal you have this year?
  • What is a saying or quote that you live by?
  • Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up and why?
  • Who was your favorite teacher and why?

To share your story now, please fill out the below form and attached a high res picture we can use with the story. Then watch the KASB News Briefs and website for your profile to appear!


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Kansas School Board Member Profiles

KASB School Board Member Profile: Warren Grable, Troy USD 429

Warren Grable Troy USD 429 How long have you been a school board member? I have served on the Board of Education for 36 years. Why did you decide to become a board member? There was talk in the 1980's of doing away with vocational programs. I have been a strong supporter of vocational programs for a very long time. At that time there was more supporters set on just college than vocational programs. Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up and why? My grandfather. He was a person I really admired. He was an honest, caring...

Holecek new KASB Region 7 vice president

Darin Holecek Ellsworth USD 527 Region 7 How long have you been a school board member? More than 10 years. Why did you decide to become a board member? I wanted to become more educated on how the school system operates, be involved in public service, and most importantly be involved in local youth and their opportunities for a successful future. What do you do outside of being a board member? For 22 years, employed with the Kansas Department of Corrections; Pheasants Forever (promoting youth and the outdoors); local USBC Bowling Association Manager; hunt; fish; sporting events; concerts; kids and family activities. What experience do...

Cole new KASB Region 3 vice president

Kevin ColeLabette County USD 506KASB Region 3 Vice President How long have you been a school board member? Three years and two years as Vice President of USD 506. I also serve as a three-year board member and two-year Vice President of the SEK Interlocal. Why did you decide to become a board member? My wife, her mother and father are lifelong educators. I appreciated their commitment to impacting lives positively in their daily interactions. All educators change and mold the lives of the students they teach. Educators need advocates for the work they perform and I wanted to be a leader...

KASB School Board Member Profile: William Cook, Erie-Galesburg USD 101

William Cook Erie-Galesburg USD 101 How long have you been a school board member? My total time as a board member is nine and a half years. However, the first four years were from 1987 to 1991. I was appointed in June 2013 to replace a board member leaving to become a teacher in our district.  Why did you decide to become a board member?In 1987, I chose to run for school board because I felt I could add a different perspective to the board as I had been a student when the district was formed in 1967 and currently had children...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Art Gutierrez, Emporia USD 253

Art Gutierrez Emporia USD 253 How long have you been a school board member? I am finishing up my first four-year term. Why did you decide to become a board member? I feel that as a member of this community that we all need to give back and this is one way I give back to my community. Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up and why? My grandfather, Lupe P. Torres, was someone who I looked up to. He was always helping others and was there for our family whenever we needed him. Who was your favorite...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Nancy Keith, Atchison County USD 377

Nancy Keith Atchison County USD 377 How long have you been a school board member? Four years. Why did you decide to become a board member? Both of my parents were teachers, and my mother and paternal grandfather were school board members.Teaching and love of community are in my blood. After working on failed bond issues, I decided that another approach was needed. Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up and why? My Grandfather, he was educated and managed six lumberyards, but made his customers and community members feel welcome and needed regardless of their education or...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Doug Epp, Emporia USD 253

Doug Epp Emporia USD 253 How long have you been a school board member? Starting my sixth year. Why did you decide to become a board member? I had been sensing that I needed to get involved in government at the community level and when I was asked to run I accepted. Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up and why? My father, Allen Epp, was a wonderful mentor and he has guided a lot of my decision making. Who was your favorite teacher and why? Clarence Howland was my ninth-grade science teacher and later my chemistry teacher....

KASB School Board Member Profile: Tonya Seller Bell, Neodesha USD 461

Tonya Seller Bell Neodesha USD 461 How long have you been a school board member? I was first elected in 2007. Why did you decide to become a board member? I am a proud product of Neodesha schools and wanted to contribute to the school district that provided me with so many wonderful opportunities growing up in a small rural community. Now, over 11 years later, I am still just as passionate about ensuring the children in my district, and across the state, receive the best educations and opportunities we can provide. What do you do outside of being a board member? I...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Mallory Koci, Emporia USD 253

Mallory Koci Emporia USD 253 How long have you been a school board member? Since September 2018 Why did you decide to become a board member? I believe in the value of public education, and I hope my service on the board will strengthen our communities through focusing on quality public education. Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up and why?  I always looked up to my grandma; she was the embodiment of kindness and love. She taught me how to care for myself, how to care for others, and how to care for the earth. Who was...

KASB Board Member Profile: Jurdene Coleman, Manhattan-Odgen USD 383

Jurdene Coleman Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 How long have you been a school board member? Nine months. I was elected in November 2017 Why did you decide to become a board member? I am a marriage and family therapist at a local community mental health center. I work with kids every day who experience difficulties in schools and wanted to do something about it. It is hard to change a system from outside so I decided to run for office so I could assist with making positive changes in my local schools. Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing...

KASB School Board Member Spotlight: LeEtta Felter, Olathe 233

LeEtta Felter Olathe USD 233 How long have you been a school board member? Seven years. Why did you decide to become a board member? Our family was so appreciative of the amazing schools and teachers in our community. I wanted to give back in a tangible way. What do you do outside of being a board member? I’m an entrepreneur, public servant, child advocate, and community activist. What experience do you bring to the table that will improve your local school district? My business and technology background has been extremely helpful as I’ve served in this capacity. My relationships throughout our community have...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Melissa Ogleby, Emporia USD 253

Melissa Ogleby Emporia USD 253 How long have you been a school board member? Nine months. Why did you decide to become a board member? With the current political climate I decided it was time for me to stand up and support what I thought was really important in our community --  education. Who was your favorite teacher and why? Mr. Chapman taught theater in high school. He was a funny, kooky man who taught me that even if I had no desire to act I could still do all the other fun stuff in theater. He showed me that there was much...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Mike Crouch, Emporia USD 253

Mike Crouch Emporia USD 253 How long have you been a school board member? 13 years Why did you decide to become a board member?  I have always had an interest in education, I believe that education is the key to our future. Being civically involved is also important to me, so the opportunity to serve our educational community and our children is a natural fit. Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up and why? Reverend Ward Chambers, he left us many years ago. He was my next door neighbor growing up as a kid and he...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Tracey Hannah, Basehor-Linwood USD 458

Tracey Hannah Basehor-Linwood USD 458 How long have you been a school board member? Three and a half years. Why did you decide to become a board member? As a mother of two school-age children in the district, I continue to be impressed by the caliber of teachers, support staff, and administrators in Basehor-Linwood. Kids come first in Basehor-Linwood, and that spirit is evident throughout the district. I wanted to be a part of setting the strategy for a growing district, and serving an amazing community! Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up and why? See...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Scott Kunshek, Frontenac USD 249

Scott Kunshek Frontenac USD 249 How long have you been a school board member? Four years Why did you decide to become a board member? My wife and I have three young sons, and I wanted to play an active role in their education. There are many educators in my family, so I've always been around conversations relating to academics, behavior, classroom management, etc. Being a board member is a fun way to stay involved and promote the successes of our district and community. Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up and why? I always looked up to my...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Lori Johnson, Girard USD 248

Lori Johnson Girard USD 248 How long have you been a school board member? Since 2015. Why did you decide to become a board member? I saw it as an opportunity to be part of a strong team that represents perhaps the most important daily civic commitment we as citizens make to our communities, our children, and our future. I graduated from Pittsburg State University with a Bachelor's of Science in Education and I started my education career at the Southeast Kansas Education Service Center – Greenbush. It was during my time at Greenbush when I first discovered my passion to serve...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Shelley Stevens, Basehor-Linwood USD 458

Shelley Stevens Basehor-Linwood USD 458 How long have you been a school board member? Five years. Why did you decide to become a board member? My sons went K-12 , and I was an active volunteer at the school and in the community and wanted to give back to USD 458. Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up and why? My Mother. She always spoke to me about making good choices, and always told me I can do whatever I put my mind to. Who was your favorite teacher and why? Zenaida Schmidt, Spanish teacher. She inspired...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Michele Johnson, Wamego USD 320

Michele Johnson Wamego USD 320 How long have you been a school board member? Three and a half years. Why did you decide to become a board member? I wanted to help to affect change and improve policies when warranted. It is all about being part of the mission of our district to always keep academics of our students at the forefront of every decision. Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up and why? My Mother because even though she was a full time working mother raising four children, she always had a home cooked meal...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Spencer Fritz, Basehor-Linwood USD 458

Spencer Fritz Basehor-Linwood USD 458 How long have you been a school board member? I’ve been on the Basehor-Linwood school board for 5 years now. My wife and I have a son who is a sophomore. Why did you decide to become a board member? My family has been living in the Basehor-Linwood area since the early 50’s. I’ve had multiple family members graduate from Basehor-Linwood over the years. Since my son started school, my wife and I have always been involved with the school. My wife was president of the PTC for a couple years then I became president. The...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Patricia Eileen Welicky, Bonner Springs USD 204

Patricia Eileen Welicky Bonner Springs USD 204 How long have you been a school board member? I have been a school board member since July 2011. Why did you decide to become a board member? I became a school board member because I was asked to run by a beloved community member and was elected. At the time, I was concerned over the decision by the school board to end the 5th-grade band program. I was motivated to run because I wanted to represent the voices that go unheard. Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up and...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Tim Hanigan, Garden City USD 457

Tim Hanigan Garden City USD 457 How long have you been a school board member? Nine months. Why did you decide to become a board member? To encourage the board to have more public discussions about issues being decided, and ask relevant questions also in a public manner. The overall goal is to be more responsive and open with the public about the myriad of decisions that take place behind the scenes. What do you do outside of being a board member? Orthodontist. Father. Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up and why? An FFA advisor. He was...

KASB School Board Member Profile: David Jensen, Jefferson West USD 340

David Jensen Jefferson West USD 340 How long have you been a school board member? Two years. Why did you decide to become a board member? I have a sincere desire to serve my community. I am a highly motivated and driven person. I believe my personal and professional experience will help maximize the potential of this district. More importantly I have pride in my community and I want to see the spread throughout this district. Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up and why? My father. I have never known a man to work as hard...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Jeanette Klamm, Basehor-Linwood USD 458

Jeanette Klamm Basehor-Linwood USD 458 How long have you been a school board member? Three years Why did you decide to become a board member? We have sent our two sons through Basehor-Linwood (one just graduated and one is a junior this year) and my husband is a Basehor alumni. I have been impressed with the excellent teaching staff, the progressive administration, and the overall direction that the district has been moving in an area where growth (on the outskirts of the Kansas City Metro area) has and will continue to be a challenge. I wanted to be a part of that...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Susan Brinkman, Emporia USD 253

Susan Brinkman Emporia USD 253 How long have you been a school board member? Seven years. Why did you decide to become a board member? In 2009, I served on a district-wide committee tasked with looking at enrollment numbers, building census and conditions. We were charged with recommending potential building closures. That experience remains one of the most humbling and challenging in my service to the district. After completion of my service on the committee, I felt compelled to continue serving the students, families, and staff in Emporia. Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up and why?...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Lori Van Fleet, Basehor-Linwood USD 458

Lori Van Fleet Basehor-Linwood School District USD 458 How long have you been a school board member? Six years. Why did you decide to become a board member? I have two children who attended K-12 in the school district. Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up and why? My Mother; she was always positive. Who was your favorite teacher and why? Ms. Scovill; she had confidence in me. What do you do outside of being a board member? I am a Region Director of Financial Services for the Sherwin-Williams Company. What experience do you bring to the table that will...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Greg Tice, Renwick USD 267

Greg Tice Renwick USD 267 How long have you been a school board member? Six years Why did you decide to become a board member? The importance of being involved and helping civically was instilled in me by my father. I thought I could provide a good perspective since I am an architect and my wife is a teacher. What do you do outside of being a board member? In addition to being a school board member, I am a partner in a 25-person architecture firm. I have been a baseball coach for the past 17 years. I also like to stay active...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Jacqueline Whitney Lightcap, Auburn-Washburn USD 437

Jacqueline Whitney Lightcap Auburn-Washburn USD 437 How long have you been a school board member? Since January 2018 Why did you decide to become a board member?  I have been involved with my children's schools and PTO groups since my oldest started school in 2009. When we moved back to Topeka in 2015, I started attending board meetings so that I could learn more about the district as a whole and realized I would like to be involved with the bigger-picture issues, too. I grew up in Topeka and have always been thankful for the great education I received. I believe giving back to...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Jeff Rollins, Satanta USD 507

Jeff Rollins Satanta USD 507 How long have you been a school board member: Since 2010 Why did you decide to become a board member? I am a product of this school system. When I was 16 some of the things required of me did not make any sense to me. Hey, I was just a kid. Now I’m over 60, we are still doing the same things. It still doesn’t make sense to me. We can do better. Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up and why? Bill Rollins my dad. Strong values and work ethic. Who...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Cherie Sage, Seaman USD 345

Cherie Sage Seaman USD 345  How long have you been a school board member? I was appointed to a vacant position in the fall of 2016 and then elected for a full term in November 2017. Why did you decide to become a board member? I was already involved in our daughter’s elementary school PTO and Site Council and had joined the district’s Technology and Wellness committees when I was approached by a colleague who suggested I consider running for school board. When a vacancy became open on the Board, I decided it was a perfect opportunity to jump in and see...

KASB School Board Member Profile: David J. Toland, Bonner Springs-Edwardsville USD 204

David J. Toland Bonner Springs/Edwardsville USD 204 How long have you been a school board member? Six years. Why did you decide to become a board member? I joined the USD 204 Board of Education in 2013. I grew up in Edwardsville and graduated from Bonner Springs High School in 1991. I am currently the Training Director for the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office, but the title I'm most proud to carry is Soccer Coach. I have coached the sport for the past 29 years and I'm even credited for starting the BSHS soccer program. During my childhood, my parents always stressed the importance...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Dave Pierce, Bonner Springs/Edwardsville USD 204

Dave Pierce Bonner Springs/Edwardsville USD 204 How long have you been a school board member? 18 years. Why did you decide to become a school board member? Daughter/teacher in the district. Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up? My math teacher, Gene Tibbetts, in Emporia. Who was were favorite teacher and why? Gene Tibbetts. Great role model. What do you do outside of being a board member? Sell insurance. What experience do you bring to the table that will improve your local district? Been in business the past 41 years and ex-teacher/coach. As a board member, what is the top goal...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Chris Perry, Baldwin City USD 348

Chris Perry Baldwin City USD 348  How long have you been a school board member? Elected in November of 2017, started with the board in January of 2018. Why did you decide to become a board member?  I wanted to bring my diverse background in youth development and education to the Baldwin City School Board to better serve my local community. Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up and why? It's an equal tie between my parents. My mother was an educator and great influence in charting my course through education and beyond, and my father was an attorney and school...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Christie Appelhanz, Seaman USD 345

Christie Appelhanz Seaman USD 345  How long have you been a school board member? Since 2014. Why did you decide to become a board member? My dad served on the school board for 12 years while I was growing up. Conversations around the dinner table were always about how to make our good schools even better. I watched my dad make decisions that sometimes lost him customers at his business or caused people not to sit by him at baseball games. But it never stopped him from doing what he thought was right. I decided to be a school board member because...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Doug Minson, Wakeeney USD 208

Doug Minson Wakeeney USD 208 How long have you been a school board member? Six years in prior terms, and first year this term. Why did you decide to become a board member? To continue to advocate for kids and education and to give back to our community. Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up and why? Glen Suppes, former principal of mine at Kinsley USD 347. He's now at Smoky Valley, I believe. Who was your favorite teacher and why? John Davis, business instructor at USD 347. I always knew I wanted to go into Business Field...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Susan Schiffelbein, Baldwin City USD 348

Susan Schiffelbein Baldwin City USD 348 How long have you been a school board member? One year Why did you decide to become a board member? As a lifelong learner and educator, I always wanted to serve the field in any way that I was able. In my opinion, members of the board are community members who work to build the best system possible for families. Being part of this is an honor. Additionally, a couple of my colleagues had re-planted the seed and it became an organic unfold. When my youngest graduated from high school, a board member resigned, which created...

KASB School Board Member Profile: Karla Hagemeister, Manhattan-Ogden USD 383

Karla Hagemeister Manhattan-Ogden, USD 383 How long have you been a school board member? January 2018 Why did you decide to become a board member? I have always been a supporter of our local schools and of public education. I knew that at some point I wanted to step up and serve as a leader, but I worried that I didn’t know enough or that I would not live up to my own expectations of what was required. I also worried about not being home to be the parent I wanted to be for our two children. By 2017 I had shed those doubts...

KASB School Board Member Profile: John Williams, Topeka USD 501

John R. Williams Topeka USD 501 How long have you been a school board member? Since July of 2013 Why did you decide to become a board member? Encouraged by a former and current board member, friends and members of our community to seek election to the Board of Education. Who was an adult you looked up to when you were growing up and why? My mentors, Edward Powell and Willis Brown. Both pushed me to always do my best regardless of what it was. Who was your favorite teacher and why? Mrs. Brace, fifth-grade teacher at Stowe Elementary. She taught me the value of always striving for excellence. What...

Dear Kansas School Board Member: Share your story

Dear Kansas School Board Member:   One of the great features of Kansas public schools is that they are operated at the local level by you — local board members who are elected by local voters.   Kansas school board members, you are our neighbors, co-workers, friends and relatives. We can talk to you at the grocery store, at sporting events or other public venues.   But sometimes your long hours of work and commitment on behalf of our students isn’t recognized. KASB wants to give you an opportunity to let the public know who you are and what makes you so passionate about Kansas...