Kelly applauds school leaders during initial `Women Connecting With Women’Scott Rothschild
Gov. Laura Kelly on Tuesday applauded female education leaders for their hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic and urged them to “hang tough” in the face of criticism as the new K-12 year brings numerous changes in school operations because of the virus.
Kelly’s comments came during the first “Women Connecting With Women” workshop, a collaboration of KASB and USA-Kansas that focuses on women in leadership and drew more than 100 people on zoom from across the state.
Kelly said school board members, administrators and teachers are dealing with the worst public health crisis in a century “but you have faced these challenges fearlessly.”
School board members noted to Kelly that some are facing pressure to return students back into school buildings full time instead of remote learning or a blending of both in-person and remote. Kelly, who in March was the first governor to order a statewide shut down of schools, said she understands the desire to re-open schools, but encouraged school board members to let science dictate decisions. “You have to make decisions that first and foremost protect the health of Kansans,” she said.
She said women exemplify great collaboration skills, which is what is needed to reach compromise and understand different perspectives during this emergency.
Asked what she is most proud of during her administration, Kelly said it was signing the school finance bill after years of litigation and underfunding. “Being able to do that, keep a promise to the people, was probably my proudest moment,” Kelly said.
Kelly urged women to help each other — experienced female leaders should mentor and women seeking leadership help should seek out more experienced women. As governor, Kelly said she believes it is her responsibility to bring people into her administration who have traditionally been left out.
The online “Women Connecting With Women” workshops are scheduled monthly. The next one will be held Oct. 27. For more information, go to this link. A Women’s Leadership Summit is planned for the spring.