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USD 355’s Jacobs named KPERS Board candidate
Ben Jacobs
Ben Jacobs

ELLINWOOD — Ellinwood USD 355 superintendent Ben Jacobs has been selected as a candidate for the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) Board of Trustees. Ernie Claudel, retired educator and building administrator at USD 233 Olathe, is the other candidate for the trustee position which is a four-year term.

The KPERS board has nine trustees. The governor appoints four, legislative leaders appoint two, two are elected by retirement system members and one is the elected state treasurer.

A 22-year veteran of the education field, Jacobs has also worked as a math teacher and coach for Ellinwood schools. 

He also served as principal at Hoisington High School. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska and his master’s at Fort Hays State University. Jacobs also has postgraduate work from Friends University in Wichita.

On his educational philosophy, Jacobs said, “I strive to create a school system in which excellence is the standard. As the leader of the district, it is my responsibility to model behaviors that support this objective.”

He said schools should not only teach intellectual content but also life skills and behaviors that will allow students to become fully actualized citizens of society.

“Student success is only realized years later upon achieving life goals and contributing something of magnitude to society,” said Jacobs.

The election runs April 1-30. KPERS members must have retired from a school employer or be currently working for one to be eligible to vote. 

Members are encouraged to vote online in their KPERS accounts at Phone voting and paper ballot options are also available by contacting the KPERS InfoLine, 888-275-5737.

KPERS provides retirement, disability and death benefits for Kansas’s school, state and local public employees. 

The retirement system has over 325,000 members and manages more than $23 billion in assets. The system also oversees KPERS 457, the state’s voluntary 457(b) deferred compensation savings plan.