Frank Henderson, Jr. serves on the board of directors for the National Association of School Boards as the Western Region Director and is an ex officio member of the KASB Board of Directors.
Frank Henderson’s belief in the importance of public education has brought him all the way from president of his children’s elementary school PTO to his current position on the board of directors for the National School Board Association.
First elected to the Seaman USD 345 board of education in 2007, Henderson served as president of the board in 2010, 2011 and 2012. He soon became involved with KASB by attending seminars and training, eventually serving on the Legislative Committee and as KASB Region 2 vice-president. Henderson graduated with the KASB Leadership for Tomorrow Class of 2009.
Henderson was elected president of KASB and served in that capacity from July 2013 to July 2014. After completing that commitment, he was elected in April 2015 as NSBA Western Region representative and now sits on the national association’s board of directors. He also serves on the board of directors of the National Black Council of NSBA.
In 2012 Henderson was appointed to serve on the Education Commission of the States, a national advisory group that tracks policy state by state, interprets research and reports and creates opportunities for state education policymakers to share knowledge and expertise.
“I have always held a strong belief of the importance of education,” Henderson said. “I am thankful for every opportunity that has come my way to support our public schools and expand the dream of an excellent education for every child.”
Henderson calls upon his fellow education advocates to engage in whatever way and whatever level they can.
“We need to be actively involved to provide a true and accurate picture of our public school system and be able to take a stand for all Kansas students, present and future,” he said.
Involvement in KASB is a great way to make a difference, Henderson said.
“I enjoy being a part of `The Voice for Public Education,’ in the state,” Henderson said, referring to KASB’s mission. “I am thrilled how we are able to influence our Legislature as well as work together to serve 286 school districts and close to 450,000 students in Kansas.”
Henderson’s local board service grew out of a desire to continue the good work he saw being done when he volunteered for his children’s school.
“I consider it an honor to serve in this capacity as a school board member,” he said. “Once on the board, I sought reelection because I wanted to continue to work for an improved system to meet the diverse needs of our students. The best aspect of being a local school board member is knowing you make a difference and are helping to shape the future,” Henderson said.
For all his service at the state and national levels, Henderson is most proud of the progress made at the local district level. “My desire is for every child to rise to their God-given potential.”
“We have been able to expand the opportunities for our students with increased use of technology at all levels, including a 1:1 initiative with our secondary students,” he said. “We have added foreign language at the elementary level and created a more individualized support system to address multiple needs of our students.”
Another initiative close to Henderson’s heart is preparing students for success after high school.
“This has included the hiring of college and career advocates to begin working with our students in eighth grade and extending through high school to assist them in course selection with areas of interest and basic career planning,” he said. “Additionally, we added a college and career internship program for our seniors that has provided immeasurable opportunities in career selection as well as college, career and workforce readiness.”
Henderson has served in several leadership roles in the Seaman district, including terms as president and vice president of the board and the board’s governmental relations representative for KASB. He has also been a member of the school site council, technology committee, PTO president and community district advisory council. He is a member and past president of the Sunrise Optimist Club, chair of the Optimist Essay Contest and chair of Kansas District Optimist Oratorical Contest.
“The future of our state and country is dependent on how well we prepare today’s students for the work ahead,” Henderson said.
KASB President-Elect Designee
Lawrence USD 497 Board of Education
Shannon Kimball is in her second term on the board of education for Lawrence USD 497 and was appointed to the KASB Board of Directors in July 2016 to fill the unexpired term of Dayna Miller, KASB president-elect.
She was elected to the position of president-elect designee during the December 2017 KASB Delegate Assembly, and will assume the office of president-elect July 1, 2018, and then service as president of KASB during the 2019-2020 school year.
“I was honored to be asked to fill the Region 1 vice-president position,” Kimball said. “I believe strongly in the work that KASB does to support school boards across our state, and to advocate for excellence in public schools for all Kansans.”
Kimball said broadening her perspective of the challenges districts face across the state will help her expand her work as a public school advocate. She also plans to apply what she learns to her work within her own school district.
“I look forward to opportunities to share KASB’s legislative and policy expertise within my own district and with districts in my region, and to advocate for public schools with the legislature,” Kimball said.
As a statewide association, Kimball believes KASB is uniquely positioned to be the voice of districts across the state, both in its legislative advocacy and in the sharing of data with districts and school communities.
“Now more than ever public schools need strong advocates who are empowered with the facts about the successes of and challenges facing Kansas schools. KASB plays a vital role in assisting school districts and other stakeholders to advocate for public education with a powerful, unified voice,” Kimball said.
As a native Kansan, Kimball and her husband returned to Kansas following several years out of state to pursue careers. Kimball is an attorney whose work focused on public schools for several years. She is currently raising their two sons and one daughter and focusing her time on volunteer work.
“Foremost among our reasons for coming back home was the desire for our children to have the opportunity to attend excellent public schools,â€ Kimball said.
She volunteered in 2010 to serve as a community member on the Lawrence USD 497 task force formed to study the district’s elementary school facilities. After working for over seven months as part of that group to make a recommendation to the board, Kimball decided to run for a board position.
“I wanted to give back to the community through sharing my professional background in school law and policy, as well as to continue working on the many issues raised by the work of the elementary school facility task force,” Kimball said.
Seeking a second term in 2015 gave her a way to stay involved as the district implements a $92.5 million 2013 bond issue. The project will transform all 14 of the district’s elementary facilities into flexible 21st century learning spaces, Kimball said. A new college and career center to serve the district’s two high schools will expand business, community, and higher education partnerships to give students relevant, career-oriented experiences.
Kimball said another major focus of her board service continues to be the district’s equity work, with the goal of closing achievement gaps.
“We have made great strides in the past six years, increasing our overall graduation rate to above 90 percent,” she said, “while at the same time markedly decreasing the graduation rate gap for our racial and socioeconomic subgroups.”
Kimball is a member of the League of Women Voters of Lawrence/Douglas County, and the Kansas, Georgia, and American bar associations. Her local service includes her children’s school PTO, work with the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association and the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, and serving on the board of her neighborhood association.
She is currently vice-president of her local board of education.
“I truly love the work I get to do as a local board of education member,” Kimball said. “Because I am a parent of young children in the district, I get to see the positive impact of my work reflected in the school experiences of my own children. But the rewards are much more far-reaching than that. The best part of our board meetings is the time that we use to recognize the amazing accomplishments of our students and staff. Those recognitions are an important reminder of why I volunteer to serve on the board.”
Published September 2016 Kansas Association of School Boards
Updated January 18, 2018