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School District 261 At Large

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  • Jennifer Bain
    (N)

  • Wade Buller
    (N)

  • Jerome C Crawford
    (N)

  • Greg Fenster
    (N)

  • Mike Fussell
    (N)

  • Tom Gibson
    (N)

  • Mitch Lindsay
    (N)

  • Candidate picture

    Susan Norton
    (N)

Biographical Information

What do you see as the biggest successes in the Public Schools and what areas do you see could use some study and/ or changes?

A lot of schools district have not been= able to recruit enough teachers to fill all positions with certified teachers.. Last year the Wichita district had to start the school year with 80 positions filled by long term substitutes . What do you think can be done to perhaps help solve this problem?

What strengths do you think you bring that will make you a useful member of the on the Board of Education?

What is your view about Kansas state revenue funding going to support tuition to non-Public schools if a family chooses to send their student there?

What is your opinion of the Ks Supreme Court’s ruling on the Gannon case about adequate and equitable funding for Kansas Public Schools?

What ideas would you like to have the Board explore to enhance the schools in this district if you are elected?

What do you think the school district should add or take away from its policies or practices.

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Personal Biography Have resided in Haysville for 41 years and been involved in PTA, Booster Club, Optimist Club, Junior Baseball/Softball league, Pride, Haysville Forward, American Culinary Federation, Kansas Restaurant & Hospitality Assc., Chairman of Wichita Area Safe Kids, President of Haysville Forward. Two children and four grandchildren. Have been on USD 261 school board for four years. Highly involved in the community for years.
Campaign Phone (316) 641-3021
Campaign Email tgibson12@cox.net
Education two years college
Community/Public Service City council for two years, school board four years
success is the larger percentage of graduates with more than the high school diploma. Being able to provide more than just the basic needs to graduate but also graduate with certificates in some areas and college credits to get them started. Changes that need to be made are to incorporate more of the social workers into the schools to let the teachers do what they do and love most, teach. We are having way too many problems with students that are problems best handles by Social Workers. Let the teachers teach.
you will have to ask those involved in the Wichita school district. Not all school districts have this problem.
Being involved with the community as a hole to help better the educational process for the students, parents and teachers. As a school board member you can guide the ship but you have to have the qualified people in place to help direct to make it successful. I am only one of the members of the board and we all bring something different and a different perspective to the board. We don't always agree but we do have to pull together to get thing to happen.
The non-public already have an advantage over public schools in the respect they do recruit students that will help them accomplish there goals. We all make choices in life that we hope make us a better person, but those choices have other reactions to them. If a parent chooses to go to a non-public they have to know that there will be added expenses to them. Transportation, fees and tuition. It is the parents choice.
Yet to be seen. Pleased that the case did not close but remained open to be sure that the State does fulfill it's promise to the students.
Continue offering opportunities for different directions for the future. We are now learning that the college degree is not required for all jobs and some of those without that degree pay as much or more than some of the degreed positions. Continue to be a leader in the educational world by adding more of the types of education for the future, maybe in the alternative energy fields.
These are ever changing and are always under review. Teacher, parents and students are always going to be a step ahead in trying to change policies an practices, we as a board just have to be able to keep up with them and make the changes as we see are best for all, no for just a few.
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Personal Biography Dr. Susan Norton is the Director of the Office of Adult Learning at Wichita State University. Her current position is charged with the recruitment and retention of the post-traditional population returning to WSU to finish baccalaureate degrees. Susan currently serves on numerous community and institutional committees while pursuing her true passion, helping adults achieve their academic dreams. Susan and her husband Tim have been part of the Haysville community for over 30 years.
Campaign Phone (316) 655-0363
Campaign Email spnorton@cox.net
Education BS, business management, Newman University MSEd, Adult and Continuing Education, Newman University PhD, Adult and Occupational Education, Kansas State University certificate, Institute for Management and Leadership in Education, Harvard University
Community/Public Service 2019 – current appointment to the Kansas continuing Legal Education Commission 2018 - current Haysville Forward 2018 - current USD 261 School Board 2015 – current Humanitarian of the Year Award committee, KU-Med Donna Sweet Emergency Fund 2014 – 2016 Capital Campaign Cabinet, Child Advocacy Center – Wichita, KS 2012 – 2015 Derby Chamber of Commerce Board member 2008 – 2011 Haysville Chamber of Commerce Board member 2010 – 2011 Instructor, beginning computer classes for seniors, Haysville public library 2004 American Cancer Society – Cattleman’s Ball Committee 2000 – 2001 USD 261 Haysville School Board (filled an unexpired term)
Address 200 Timberlane Dr Haysville, KS 67060
CampaignPhone 316-655-0363
Successes - access and continued movement on graduation rates

Study/changes - class sizes, mental health assistance, social service issues. When the funding is tough, increasing class sizes becomes a necessity. Unfortunately, stretching teachers more with larger classes, and additional needs from their students (issues from home, food insecurity, mental and emotional issues) takes more and more away from their ability to be successful in the classroom. Finding new and innovative ways to support and increase the assistance to a classroom instructor should be a constant issue for school boards.

Deferred maintenance - where are we currently in the schools with issues that have been put on hold while funds have been dwindling? What will it take to get our systems back to pre-2008 levels? What maintenance is on the horizon? How do we prioritize?
If teachers were given the pay and respect they deserve, more qualified individuals would go in to the profession. Over the last years, teaching has become a demoralizing profession as pay has been cut and more is expected of the individuals. Teaching is actually a calling that should be honored. Great teachers can change lives. It will take the political will of school district patrons to make this happen. In the meantime, programs like the TAP program at WSU, where a para-educator can work during the day and do their academic work toward licensure online is a start. How else can we find ways to get those individuals who have the skills to be great teachers in to classrooms?
Because I work in higher education, I am very aware of what effect decisions that are made at the Board level have on the success of our kids in post-secondary education. I understand that not every kid will be successful in a university setting, but we should find that special spark in them that will help them find fulfillment in a profession as an adult and give them the opportunity to succeed and make a living.

I have also lived in my district for over 30 years and have had 5 children and 3 granddaughters graduate from USD 261. I may not have children in the district anymore, but I am acutely aware that the success of my friends and neighbors children and grandchildren is still of the utmost importance.
I feel it is destructive to the public school system. While all parents should have the right to decide on what school is right for their child (home school, private, or public) the constitution states that all children must receive an education. How to balance those two statements is the difficult part. We must do everything we can to make our public schools as vital, engaging and academically sound as possible. If a parent feels that, for whatever reason, that the public school doesn't meet the needs of their student, they have the right to choose a different option. But that right doesn't take public funding for education with it.
It was a good start. I am pleased that the courts will be overseeing the continued funding by the legislation. As I watch state funding for public higher education decrease from the upper 70% in the 1980's to the current funding of around 20% and hear how access and student debt are rising, it is difficult to see how there was any other way to keep this from happening at the K-12 level. Nobody enjoys paying their taxes, but to live in a community and support each other we have to do what is best for the greater good.
Social service issues; mental health support, social workers in the schools, food insecurity, additional latchkey opportunities. If the funding issues are corrected, bringing teacher salaries back to equitable levels with the surrounding states.
We need to address vaping. I think this has come on the horizon quickly and the health issues are just now coming forward. I think we have made great strides with bullying, but it is never enough. I believe that we should be more involved with multi-cultural awareness.