Kay Smith questionnaire
Family: Married with two children.
Education: Bachelor’s degree from Emporia State University, master’s degree from MidAmerican Nazarene University
Occupation: Family and consumer science teacher at Leavenworth High School.
Political and government experience: School board member the past seven years. I am currently on the Crisis committee and the Wellness Committee.
Clubs or organizations: I am currently a member of the negotiations team for Leavenworth Public Schools and have been for six years. I am a member of NEA and Alpha Delta Kappa, which is an altruistic organization that provides scholarships for people wanting to enter the teaching profession.
Why are you running for school board?
I am running for board again because I want to be a part of the decision-making process for the school district that our child attends.
What is your top priority for the district and why?
My top priority is to continue holding everyone accountable and to continue to review the policies that should be directing your district. I make decisions based on current policy and I often call the lawyers at the Kansas Association of School Boards to make sure that the decisions being made are legal. I research each issue from both sides by talking to the people, such as parents or employees, and also contact the lawyers for additional information. I base each decision on facts, not opinion or rumors.
What qualifications should voters know about you?
I make my decisions based on what is best for the health, welfare and safety of students. When I was first on the board, the pop machines where not secured to the walls which was a concern. The doors at the attendance centers were also open and unlocked during the school day. Since being on the board, cameras inside the school and in the parking lots have helped hold people accountable. The district has tightened security of the school and the security of the Internet and computer systems.
What is the most pressing issue facing the school district and how do you propose to take care of it?
One pressing issue, in my opinion, is the reduction of the budget from the state. I will continue to ask questions about purchases and procedures. I am also very concerned about planning for a variety of crisis situations. I believe that it is important to plan for all situations that could happen and to be proactive rather then reactive. The addition of a School Resource Officer has been a tremendous asset to the district.
In light of these uncertain economic times, how should the district move forward knowing it faces less funding?
It does not take money to hold people accountable. The employees of the district are our best resources and they have many ideas on how to reduce cost to the district. Administrators have already begun asking for ways to reduce costs.
As you campaign, what’s the top issue you’re hearing about from patrons and how do you intend to address it?
I hear from patrons on a regular basis and most of them agree with my past decisions.