Profile: KASB’s new Region 5 board member TinaRae ScottScott Rothschild
TinaRae Scott was interested in politics and governance from a young age and remembers as a sixth-grader traveling to Manhattan to a political event featuring President Ronald Reagan. The crowds prevented her from seeing the president, but Scott saw U.S. Sen. Nancy Kassebaum and State Treasurer Joan Finney. Watching those two women in high levels of government made a big impression on Scott.
Now Scott, a member of the Morris County USD 417 board, takes over as the Region 5 representative on the KASB Board of Directors. She fills the unexpired term of Lori Blake, who is now KASB President-Elect.
Scott plans to run for a full term as the Region 5 representative at KASB’s Annual Conference in December. KASB’s Region 5 covers much of central Kansas, including Chase, Harvey, Marion, McPherson, Morris, Reno, Rice and Saline counties.
In her new position on the KASB board, Scott said, “I would really just like to be available and accessible to all the districts in the region. I’m really excited to be an ear and open door and voice for those districts and most importantly our kids.”
From a childhood interest in politics, Scott developed a sense of wanting to work locally to help her community.
That led to a long stint as president of the Parent Teacher Organization at her oldest daughter’s school in Morris County USD 417. Scott was then recruited to lead a volunteer effort to pass a school bond election. The issue was approved in 2008 — the first successful bond election for USD 417 after several earlier attempts had gone down in defeat.
On the heels of that victory, Scott ran for school board, but lost by a mere nine votes. She waited patiently, while also getting appointed to spearhead a drive to pass a city sales tax for an aquatic center, and then ran again for school board. This time she won and is now in her sixth year on the board, fourth as vice president.
As an advocate for schools, Scott said she wants to work to ensure rural areas have access to high speed broadband, saying that is crucial to economic development. With high speed broadband, she said, “People can live and work here regardless of whether their jobs are in Wichita or Kansas City. If you’re running the family farm or local pharmacy, you have to have access to technology that can connect you to the rest of the world.”
She also wants adequate funding of special education and making sure schools have enough mental health providers. “Your mind and your mental health are just as important as your physical health,” she said.
Scott and her husband Lancer have three daughters; the oldest is starting college this fall on a powerlifting scholarship; the middle daughter is in eighth-grade and the youngest will start first-grade. Scott works as assistant director of SOS Crisis Services, a not-for-profit that helps victims of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect. Her family also works a farm and ranch and owns a livestock trucking company.
Scott said she is optimistic about the future of public education in Kansas. The recent decision by the Kansas Supreme Court to approve the Legislature’s school finance fix in the long running Gannon lawsuit was welcome, she said. “I hope we have this funding issue behind us and we can focus on the kids and make our education system in Kansas the leader in the nation, so people will want to educate their kids here.”