McMillon announces she won’t seek re-election in April
Mildred McMillon has been a longtime school board member, serving on the state board, as well as the Tonganoxie school board, for more than 25 years.
On Monday, she announced during a Tonganoxie school board meeting that she would not seek re-election in April.
“After 27 1/2 years I’m ready to hang it up,” the 83-year-old McMillon said.
She is serving her seventh term overall, joining the Tonganoxie board after winning the at-large position in 2007. It’s her second stint in Tonganoxie, as she was on the board for nearly three terms spanning portions of the 1970s and 1980s. While a Tonganoxie board member, she successfully ran for the state board, where she was a member from 1987-99.
She did not seek another term at the state level when her husband, Pete, became ill. He died in 2004.
McMillon said Tuesday she thought it was time for someone else to run for the seat.
“I just think it’s time I step down,” McMillon said. “We need younger people. I just don’t think, four more years added to my age now, I would be as competent as somebody younger.”
She also cited health issues. She said being part of various school activities was important and she is somewhat limited.
“Walking is not a part of my good speed right now,” she said, adding, “long as I’m sitting, I can sit all day.”
McMillon plans to finish out her term, which concludes in June, but she thought it was time to let the public know she wasn’t running for re-election.
The date to file for school board positions is noon on Jan. 25. Leavenworth County Clerk Janet Klasinski said Tuesday there were no filings to date.
“You might be wanting to look for a candidate,” McMillon said at Monday’s meeting. “I figured I better go public with it.”
During her first stint with the Tonganoxie board, McMillon served when a bond issue to build Tonganoxie Junior High passed. She said it was the first bond issue to pass in Tonganoxie “for I don’t know how many years.”
The junior high now is part of the high school campus, thanks to another bond issue passing in 2004 that renovated the high school and elementary school campuses and funded a new middle school. Wheels are in motion for another bond issue, which is expected to be on ballots in April.
She noted one of her biggest accomplishments on the state board was being part of Quality Performance Accreditation implementation.
“And then along came No Child Left Behind and that kind of watered down QPA, as far as testing,” McMillon said.
McMillon grew up in Americus, Ga., and attended college at Georgia Southwestern College in her hometown with former First Lady Rosalyn Carter.
“I guess I was studying something else than Rosalyn Carter,” McMillon said with a laugh. “She was studying matrimony engineering. She got her president and I got an airline pilot.”
She might not have married a future president like her friend, but McMillon has spent many years serving in education. She noted working for children was extremely important.
“I don’t know, I just feel as though your endeavors are targeted toward kids and you keep them in utmost importance,” McMillon said. “If you have a vendetta to get someone fired, stop progress, I think you’ve got the wrong attitude.”