Editor’s note: Great Bend’s League of Women Voters asked local candidates for 100-word biographies prior to last week’s forum. They are printed as submitted, following the LVW rules.
USD 428 School Board
It’s my privilege to have been educated in Kansas, and to educate in Kansas. I attended 12 years of school at Chapman, KS. I continued, attending Emporia State University. Don and I have been married 44 years, had two sons – Brian and Brad, and presently have three grandchildren – one elementary, one at GBMS and one at GBHS. I taught at Riley and Lincoln Elementary Schools, for a total of 25 years, retiring May 2014. Student learning is the most important task of our public schools and the BOE is responsible for resources to promote achievement for all its students.
My name is Mark Hestand and I am running for the USD 428 School Board. My wife and I have lived in Great Bend since 1998. We have 4 children. Markie is a freshman at Barton Community College, Maycie a senior and Mollie a sophomore at GBHS and Michael a 5th grader at Eisenhower. I am currently serving on the Eisenhower Site Council. I am the District Sales Manager for Shelter Insurance and have been employed with Shelter since 1992. I have 17 years of sales management experience, managing both budgets and personnel.
Lori Reneau has been a KBI Certified Evidence Control Specialist for the past 20 years and is a member of the KBI Peer Support Team. Lori and husband Kenny have lived in Great Bend since 1995. She’s been an active member in their two sons, Keaton and Ethan’s Booster Clubs/PTA since 2004. Her duties there have included organizing fundraisers, special events, handling finances and serving as president for the last 7 years. Lori is active in the First Christian Church of Great Bend and volunteers in many other community activities. She is passionate about USD 428’s educational system.
Donald L. Williams, Ed.D.
• Born in southern California but moved with my family to western Colorado during early elementary school years.
• Graduated from Montrose County High School in Montrose, Colo. in 1966.
• Attended Kansas Wesleyan University and earned a biology degree and secondary teacher education credentials in 1970. During those years, I married my high school sweetheart, Jan Schell, to whom I have been married for 44+ years! We have four adult children, three daughters and one son.
• Taught secondary biology, driver’s education, health and coached wrestling at two different schools (Hanston and Lyons) in central and western Kansas over an 18 year span.
• Earned a Masters Degree from Western State College, Gunnison, Colo. in 1978.
Cheryl Dunlap Rugan, CPA
Cheryl Dunlap Rugan, CPA, is seeking re-election to the school board. Born and raised in Great Bend, she graduated from GBHS, BCC, and WSU in accounting. Prior to returning to Great Bend to raise her family, Cheryl was a CPA with the Wichita accounting firm, KPMG. She subsequently, served as controller for two companies. Some of Cheryl’s community service includes current school board member, Jefferson PTO, Panther Booster board, Panhellenic, PEO, Club West board and is a member of the Grace Community Church. Cheryl and her husband, Robert, reside in Great Bend with their children, Wyatt and Olivia.
Chris Umphres is the Assistant Director/Sports Director of the Great Bend Recreation Commission. He earned his Associates degree from Barton Community College, Bachelors and Masters Degrees from University of Central Missouri. Umphres has continued his professional education by becoming certified as a National Playground Safety Inspector, Certified Parks, and Recreation Professional, Graduate of the NRPA Directors School and past member of Kansas Parks and Recreation Board of Directors. He is active in his church, member of the Chamber of Commerce and a local business owner. He and his wife Terri have two young children attending elementary school in this district.
Barton Community College Board of Trustees
I am a 40 year resident of Great Bend moving here in 1975. I have been married to my wife, Linda, for 33 years and have 2 sons, Chad who also lives in Great Bend and Kyle who resides in Casper, Wyo. I am a graduate of Great Bend High School and attended Fort Hays State University. I am the owner of a successful local business, M&M Equipment, which was founded by my father in 1975. I began working at M&M in 1983 and assumed ownership in 2013. I am proud to call Great Bend and Barton County my home.
I became a resident of Barton County in 1994 upon taking my first teaching and coaching positions at Great Bend High School. In 2000 I completed my Masters in Educational Administration and served as Asst. Principal and Principal at Larned High School. In 2005, I moved into a position as Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Benefit Management Inc. I have served as Barton County Community College as a teacher, Cougar Booster Club Board Member and currently serve as a member of the Board of Trustees. I have also served the community as a Chamber Ambassador, Knights of Columbus Club Board member and Sunflower Diversified Foundation Board. My wife Carrie and I have two children, Daxton and Mikala.
Brock McPherson has 57 years experience in private law practice in Great Bend, Kansas and is a member of McPherson & McVey Law Offices, Chtd. Mr. McPherson is a graduate of the University of Missouri, and received his juris doctorate in 1951 from the University of Missouri School of Law. He served as a Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation prior to opening a law practice in Great Bend, Kansas. He was elected for two terms as Barton County Attorney and is licensed to practice in all Federal and State Court and all regulatory bodies. He is a member of the Barton County Bar Association previously serving as President and Secretary/Treasurer. He has served as President of the Monison PTA.
Bob Mead is a lifelong Kansan and a Barton County resident since 1953.
Graduate, Great Bend High; attended KSU and BCCC
Married high school sweetheart and together raised a son and a daughter
U.S. Army veteran
Successful construction business; specializing in grain storage facilities
Former Mayor of Pawnee Rock, Kansas
Four term member, Kansas House of Representatives
Former acting Secretary, Kansas Department of Health and Environment
Gubernatorial Appointment, Kansas State Parole board
As a hobby, Mead has built, four high performance experimental airplanes and is an officer in the local chapter of the experimental aircraft association.
Matt is a recent transplant to Great Bend, but has quickly made it his home. Is serving the community as the associate minister at First United Methodist Church, and serves on the board f the Central Kansas Dream Center. He is also an Ambassador with the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce. During his time as a city council member, Matt hopes to focus on making sure that our ordinances are providing for the safety of the general public, encouraging industrial growth, and improving single-family housing around our great city!
My work experience in City Government stretches from 1974-2012. I retired December 2012 after working as City Clerk/Finance Director for Great Bend. After retiring I was elected to the Great Bend City Council April, 2013. With my 38 years working in Governmental Finance and providing information to the City Councils and attending the City Council meetings over this period of time, it has given me a solid background in the workings of a City. I thoroughly enjoyed representing the 2nd Ward during the past two years and would like very much to continue.