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School district celebrates School Board Recognition Month
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As a gesture of appreciation, USD 428 Board of Education members were treated to apple pies during the January school board meeting. Pictured are Kevin Mauler, Larry Kutina, Wade Babcock, Joyce Carter, Dwight Young, Doug Bender and Cheryl Rugan. COURTESY PHOTO

January is School Board Recognition Month and Unified School District 428 joins school districts across the state to say thank you to these community leaders for their untiring dedication to public education.
“We are very fortunate to have seven individuals on our board of education who dedicate countless hours to attending meetings, school functions and in preparation for the decisions they make,” said Dr. Tom Vernon, superintendent of schools. “And they do this all on a volunteer basis! They participate in training and specialized professional development to stay on top of education issues and trends, read reports and background information to prepare for the many decisions they are called upon to make.”
School board members in USD 428 develop policies and make decisions that help shape the future of our education system.
One such project was the recent update of the district goals. The board figured that new goals could help in the search for a new superintendent and also help the new superintendent determine the direction of the district.
The Kansas Association of School Boards was hired to lead a school-board retreat and work session last September. Members of the board were led through a question-and-answer process to determine areas of strengths and those in need of improvement. Goals were designed to address the issues.
The previous goals were a number of years old and were written by previous board members. The current board agreed that this was an opportunity for them to create a new vision for the future of the district.
“These advocates for our community and our children preserve the very core of our democracy – public education! We are grateful to have this opportunity to formally say ‘thank you’ for sharing their vision and leadership for student achievement, academic programs, district funding and school facilities,” Vernon said.
USD 428 encourages the entire community to thank a school board member, not only this month but throughout the entire year.
The men and women serving USD 428 include Joyce Carter, president; Kevin Mauler, vice president; Doug Bender, Cheryl Rugan, Dr. Larry Kutina, Dwight Young and Wade Babcock.