Archive for Wednesday, December 6, 2006

First school board candidate files

December 6, 2006

If elected to the Tonganoxie school board, Mildred McMillon would bring experience with her.

McMillon is a past school board member -- as well as a past member of the state board of education.

These seats on the Tonganoxie school board are up for election in the April 3 election.

¢ Position No. 1: Held by Diane Truesdell, who said she plans to run for re-election.

¢ Position No. 2: Held by Ron Moore, who said he will not seek re-election.

¢ Position No. 3: Held by Leana Leslie, who is undecided as to whether she'll run for re-election.

¢ At-large position: Held by Dr. Richard Dean, who said he will not seek re-election.

She served from 1976 to 1986 on the Tonganoxie school board and on the state board from 1986 to 1998.

"I just feel like it was something I could do," McMillon, 79, said of her decision to run for the at-large position held by Dr. Richard Dean, who is not seeking re-election.

In fact, she said, had her late husband, Pete McMillon, not become ill in the late 1990s, she likely would have remained on the state board of education. Her husband died in 2004.

McMillon is the first candidate to file for the school board election, which will be held April 3. The filing deadline is noon Jan. 23 for both Tonganoxie school board and city council candidates.

When McMillon previously served on the Tonganoxie school board, she had no children attending the school district.

But now, she said, she has even more of a vested interest. Two of her great-granddaughters attend classes at Tonganoxie Elementary School, and their sister, born earlier this year, also will attend school in Tonganoxie. McMillon also has two great-grandchildren in the Bonner Springs school district.

McMillon, who is a Democrat, said school is about children -- not about politics. "We need to provide all the opportunities we can and leave the politics in the capitol," McMillon said.

However, she has been keeping up on school issues, at the state and local levels.

A controversial issue, when she left the state board, was whether creationism should be taught in the classroom.

"I believe in a supreme being and higher power than my own," McMillon said. "And over time we can see how everything evolves from something."

She said she thinks there are ways creationism can be presented in the classroom.

"But under the law that was passed by the Supreme Court you cannot teach the Bible in school," McMillon said.

Districtwide, McMillon said the school's new $25.3 million construction project will create changes in the district.

"I think the new school is going to make a big difference not only will we have more room, but we can probably offer more subjects," McMillon said.

And, she's watching out for school-growth traffic concerns.

"We're going to have to do something about transportation, getting those buses in and out of the new school," McMillon said. "I can see where we're going to have a traffic jam on Washington Street."

McMillon also would like to work to provide transportation for all students who participate in after-hours activities -- athletics, drama and other activities.

And, she would like to work to initiate programs that would help parents develop parenting skills that would benefit their children in regard to their education.

McMillon said she has no animosity toward the school district, and she praised the current board members and superintendent.

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