KASB Board of Directors Profile: Lara BorsAndrea Hartzell
Lara Bors, KASB Board of Directors Region 10 Vice-President
Garden City USD 457 Board of Education
Lara Bors’ reasons for first seeking a seat on her local board of education came from a commitment to community service and an even greater commitment to education.
“My son, who was going to start kindergarten the next school year, asked why I was doing it and I explained to him that I wanted to make sure he had the same or better educational opportunities that I had,” she said.
Bors is a product of the Shawnee Mission School District. A political science degree from Truman State University and a law degree from Washburn University led her to a nine-year stint as an Assistant Finney County Attorney before going in to private practice. That same year, four positions were open on the Garden City School Board.
Once elected, Bors gained appreciation for her fellow board members.
“We have a vast array of backgrounds on our board and while we may not always agree, we reach decisions very thoughtfully and stand by them after the vote of the board,” she said.
Garden City USD 457’s new high school – a recent Blue Ribbon School winner – and the district’s early childhood education center are just two of many points of pride for Bors. She is also a proponent of expanding technology.
“We have a 1:1 initiative in our High School and are transitioning more technology to our lower grades. I am also extremely proud of our alternative center,” she said. “We have a bricks and mortar alternative school for students, a virtual academy and a therapeutic school for kids of all ages that need mental health services along with their education.”
Her list of favorite things about being a board member can get long, she said. She starts off with high school graduation, but then quickly begins listing other things.
“I love being able to have an impact on students. The best thing may be seeing the kids come to their school presentations at our board meetings. Recently we had a school come and talk about their “maker space.” The teacher said that two of the kids were really in charge of the robot coding portion of the day,” Bors said.
The fact that the two students were girls was, in a word, “awesome,” Bors said.
Bors said the students asked the board for iPads, and when one of her fellow board members asked for a show of hands on who would like them, all the students raised their hands, except for the two students who had been involved in coding the robots. So Bors asked the two girls what they wanted.
“’Better robots,’ they responded. That was just too cute,” Bors said.
Bors accepted the role as KASB Region 10 vice-presented for one simple reason: she was asked to do it!
“I believe in KASB and the role that it provides local school boards. Having a voice in [KASB] I believe will be beneficial. With all that is going on at the state level, we need to make sure there is a unifying voice for school boards. We have a wide variety of needs in all of the school districts and having an organization that can put it all together is critical,” she said.
She also values the opportunity to interact with other board members across the state.
“Sometimes we all get into a rut or a box and it’s good to hear what others are doing so we can continue to be creative for our students,” she said.
No matter what role she has – at the local or state level – Bors is dedicated to providing opportunities for students.
“I hope that I make the right decisions,” she said. “I hope that the decisions we make are positive ones for our kids.”
In addition to her work with the school district, Bors serves in a variety of leadership roles within Finney County and her profession. She is on the board for the Garden City Chamber of Commerce, serving as the presenting sponsor for the Chamber’s annual teacher of the year event, the “Crystal Apple Awards.” She also assists in coaching the youth baseball team for the Garden City Recreation Commission and serves on the Juvenile Corrections Advisory Board for the Kansas 25th Judicial District.