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School District 497 At-Large {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

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  • Candidate picture

    Carole Cadue-Blackwood

  • Erica Hill

  • Candidate picture

    Shannon Kimball

  • Thea Perry

  • Candidate picture

    Paula Smith

Biographical Information

What do you think is expected of as a commissioner/board member?

What role your think policy plays in the functioning of your position?

What kind of relationship should a board member or commissioner have with the community (including parents and families)?

What responsibilities do board members/commissioners have in regards to advocacy?

Personal Biography Carole Cadue-Blackwood is a recent University of Kansas Master of Social Welfare graduate with a specialization in clinical social work practice. She is an enrolled member of the federally recognized Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas and is affiliated with the Prairie Band Potowatomi Tribe in Kansas. She and her husband, Dennis are the proud parents of three children and a daughter-in-law. Carole has advocated for the rights of KU students, particularly students of color. She has demonstrated leadership,
Campaign Phone (785) 550-7620
Education Master of Social Work, University of Kansas; Bachelor of Arts, University of Kansas; Associate of Arts, Haskell Indian Nations University; Lawrence High School, Kansas
Community/Public Service Selected as the student speaker for the University of Kansas MSW/PhD 2019 hooding ceremony; Recipient of the 2019 Dr. Precious Porras Award for Campus Advocacy and Activism. The award goes to those who have advocated for shifting campus culture to create a more inclusive space through campus advocacy and activism; Recipient of the 2018 National Indian Education Parent of the Year Award for advocating for the successful passage of Kansas House Bill 2498 or the “Regalia Bill.” I also led the campaign efforts to change the name of South Middle School to Billy Mills Middle School in Lawrence Kansas. Billy Mills Middle School is the first public school in America to be named after a Native America, let alone living; Recipient of the 2016 United Way Wallace Galluzzi Outstanding Volunteer for volunteer work at the Willow Domestic Violence Center in Lawrence, Kansas. I’ve completed over 900 hours of direct and indirect service to date. Native American Student Services Parent Committee;August 2016- Present. Lawrence High School Site Committee; August 2018,Present;Willow Domestic Violence Center, Court Advocate; May 2015-Present,Willow Domestic Violence Center Liaison between Haskell Indian Nations University, September 2015-Present, Haskell Indian Nations Resiliency in Action Committee ,September 2015 -May 2018, Name Change Committee for South Middle School; December 2017,Girl Scout Troops Leader, Troop #1213 2009-2011;Central Junior High Parent Teacher Organization; 2004-2006; Cordley Elementary Parent Teacher Organization;1998-2004
Address 887 E. 1264 Rd. Lawrence, KS 66047
Web Site
CampaignPhone 785-550-7620
Champaign Phone 785-550-7620
The role of the school board is to make certain that school districts are responsive to the values, beliefs, and priorities of the community. School board members provide direction and oversight for the staff and other professionals who manage the day-to-day operations of the schools. This includes approving a planning process to include stakeholders in developing a comprehensive plan for student achievement. Members also invests the superintendent with those powers and duties in accordance with board policy and state and federal laws. This requires professional leadership from the superintendent. School boards also provide accountability to the community. As a board member, I will use my skills as community activist and a social worker to find solutions and work to bring about needed changes and devising strategies necessary to support the long-term vision of the district. The vision reflects as to what the students need in order to reach their highest potential.
Board members are responsible for policymaking in accordance with state and federal laws to establish standards, accountability and evaluations of essential operations of the district. Members also hire and supervise the superintendent. Members also maintain current, up-to-date polies and develop rules and procedures necessary to implement the board’s policies. Members also identify policy areas that the board should revise, rewrite, or repeal as need s of the district or laws and rules change. It’s important to work as a team who can combine and contribute their unique skills and knowledge that will reflect the community.
An effective school board member must be willing to listen and work with others and be willing to work as a team to find solutions. They collaborate well with others and are respectful of the other board members and superintendent. Most importantly, school board members should be willing to meet with members of the community to continually focus on student achievement and implementing policies that will ensure success for all students. Building good community relations is paramount to maintaining an awareness of community values, concerns, and interests. As a long-time resident of 40+ years I will have a stronger sense of serving as a liaison between the school district and the community.
Board members respresent the most vulnerable population, the children. Members have a responsibility to speak out on behalf of children. Board members are advocate for students, the district and public education. Members must build support withn their own communities and at the state and national levels. The Lawrence population has a large Native American population. They are the most as-rise and underserved population. I have advocated for this population at the local, state and National level, including college aged students. As a social worker, I am committed to serving and ensuring equal access to the ressources needed to support and promote policies that promote respect for cultural and social diversity everywhere and that safeguard the rights of all people. I feel it is incumbent upon me to use my skills to work to prevent and eliminate any form of domination, exploitation of, and discrimination against any individual or group.
Personal Biography As a member of the LMH Health Foundation team, Erica understands the importance of accountability and stewardship.Erica graduated from the University of Kansas with an undergraduate degree in Human Biology and earned a master’s degree in Healthcare Leadership from Friends University. In addition to her role as the finance & operations manager for a growing non-profit foundation, Erica is also engaged in the broader, strategic work of LMH, including health equity, and is active in the community.
Campaign Phone (620) 727-5355
Education Master of Health Care Leadership (MHCL) │ Friends University │ Wichita, KS │ 2014 │ GPA: 4.0 Bachelor of Arts, Human Biology │ University of Kansas │ Lawrence, KS │ 2003
Community/Public Service ■ Leadership Lawrence, Class of 2018 ■ Member, Douglas County Community Health Plan (CHP) Steering Committee, 2018 - Present ■ Member, District Equity Leadership Team Advisory (DELTA) Council, Lawrence Public School District, 2017 - Present ■ Leadership team, LMH Health Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Advisory Council, 2015 - Present ■ Past President, Board of Directors, Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence, 2015-2019
CampaignPhone 6207275355
A school board has an important role in setting policies that affects the students and the school district. The school board holds the district accountable for results of the agreed upon goals. School board members should always act in the best interest of the students. General roles/expectations I think are important: • Attend board meetings – come prepared to participate and engage in the process. • Establish policies for the governance of the school district. Review and evaluate Board policies on an ongoing basis. Adopt policies necessary to assure the safety and health needs of students. • Support and hold the superintendent accountable to the board-approved strategic plan. • Created and follow the process established for budget review to make the best financial decisions for all students and the district. • Participate in educational conferences, workshops, and training to become a more knowledgeable board member. • Board members represent public education by serving as liaisons.
Policy plays a significant role for the school board. School board members establish policies for the governance of the school district. They review and evaluate Board policies on an ongoing basis, and adopt policies necessary to assure the safety and health needs of students.
The Board has a significant amount of responsibility as it relates to community relations. School Board members should have a positive relationship with parents and student families. Board members represent public education by serving as liaisons between the school district and the community. Board members should maintain an awareness of community values, concerns, and interests, and actively participate in programs that build good community relations.

Informing and persuading, in the legislative, legal and public arenas, in favor of positions that benefit public education, lifelong learning, excellence and equity is an important responsibility of the school district and the school board. Board members have the opportunity to enlighten and persuade lawmakers to see the board’s point of view for the benefit of the school district. This is a very important role as a school board member.
Personal Biography Shannon has served as a board member on the USD 497 board of education since 2011. She has been active in education policy advocacy and leadership at the local, state, and national levels, including serving as the current statewide president of the Kansas Association of School Boards (KASB). She has also worked with public schools as an attorney and policy specialist. She and her husband, Jason, a hospitalist, have three children, all of whom are current Lawrence Public Schools students.
Campaign Phone (785) 840-7722
Education Juris Doctor Magna Cum Laude, University of Michigan Law School; Bachelor of Arts with Highest Distinction, University of Kansas
Community/Public Service LAWRENCE PUBLIC SCHOOLS BOARD OF EDUCATION Member, 2011-present; President, 2014-15, 2017-2018; Vice-President, 2013-14, 2016-17. Committees: Policy Committee, 2011-Present; Facility Planning Committee, 2012-present; Public Incentive Review Committee, City of Lawrence, 2011-15, 2018-Present; Boundary Committee, 2017-18; Lawrence Schools Foundation Board Liaison, 2011-13; Site Council Board Liaison, Various Schools, 2011-present (3 schools each year). KANSAS ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL BOARDS President, July 2019-present, Nominating Committee, 2015, Region I Vice-President, July 2016-December 2017, President-Elect Designee, December 2017-June 2018, President-Elect, July 2018-June 2019. NATIONAL SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION Member, Policies & Resolutions Committee, 2018-19. LAWRENCE PUBLIC SCHOOLS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FACILITY VISION TASK FORCE Member, 2010-11. LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF LAWRENCE/DOUGLAS COUNTY Member 2011-present. YES FOR LAWRENCE Campaign Volunteer, 2013 & 2017. LAWRENCE MEMORIAL HOSPITAL ENDOWMENT ASSOCIATION Hearts of Gold Ball Planning Committee Member, 2014 & 2016. WESTWOOD HOA, INC. Member, Board of Directors, 2013-present. PTO VOLUNTEER Langston Hughes Elementary, Quail Run Elementary, West Middle School. PUBLIC SPEAKING: WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP SUMMIT, KANSAS ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL BOARDS Keynote address, February 2019; “YOUTH AND RACE: WHAT IS YOUR ROLE?”, OREAD FRIENDS/ECUMENICAL CAMPUS MINISTRIES Panel Member, March 2017; Presentations on a variety of school board topics and initiatives to community groups including Noon Rotary Club, classes of Leadership Lawrence, New Generations Society, Lawrence Board of Realtors, Lawrence Optimist Club, Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods, and Lawrence Chamber; Speeches at numerous district events including Lawrence High School, Free State High School, and Adult Education/Diploma Completion graduation ceremonies, Friends of Education recognition ceremony, and staff and new teacher welcome events.
Address 4000 W. 6th St. #120 Lawrence, KS 66049
Web Site
CampaignPhone 785-840-7722
Champaign Phone 785-840-7722
My role as a school board member is to listen, learn, and lead. These three things inform my collaborative work to establish a vision for our school district, which should be student-centered, based on community input and priorities, and guided by values of excellence, equity, transparency, and continuous improvement. As an elected official, I seek out and welcome input from our community. The experiences of staff, students, and families help me to more clearly understand our district's successes and the areas we may need to work to improve. I learn from this input, as well as from the time I spend on continuing education activities related to my board responsibilities. I use this knowledge, combined with my experience and problem-solving skills gained from my training as an attorney, to collaboratively set goals for our board's work and lead our district to successfully implement our vision and meet the needs of our students and our community.
Policymaking is at the very heart of the duties and responsibilities of a school board member. Good policy, created through well-informed, open, and transparent processes, will support the board’s vision and the district’s mission to help our students be successful in college, career, and life. Once the board has set policy, it is then the superintendent’s responsibility to implement policy and manage the district on a day-to-day basis. The board provides oversight of this process through its hiring and supervision of the superintendent. For these reasons, in addition to creating a vision for the district and setting policy, the selection, supervision, and retention of the superintendent is one of the most impactful decisions that a board makes for a school district.
A good board member will be an active listener and accessible to the community and will be an advocate on behalf of students and schools with the community. Successful board work requires that a board member continuously seeks to form collaborative working relationships with parents, families, and the community at large. The needs of students in our schools demand that this collaboration occur—school districts working in isolation simply cannot meet all the needs of their students, needs that must be met in order for students to be ready to learn and succeed.
I have a responsibility to advocate for the needs of my district. This includes sharing my perspective on proposed policies and legislation affecting public schools—which is informed by my years of experience on the board—with legislators, state board of education members, and our congressional delegation. It also means working in collaboration with, and providing feedback to, fellow locally-elected officials and other community leaders and community members with regard to successes, challenges, programs, policies, or other issues that affect schools or our students.

The responsibility for advocacy also requires, on my part, a commitment to continuous learning and professional development. Board members must remain informed of issues impacting public schools at the local, state, and national levels. I have made this commitment and have actively pursued these learning opportunities, leading to additional professional development and leadership responsibilities within KASB and NSBA.
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Personal Biography I am a mother, Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribal member, a geographer, and a long time resident of Lawrence, Kansas. I've raised my 5 kids in the Lawrence area and in the school district. What I have learned raising 5 kids in our community is that every one of their interests, talents and skills kept me busy and that their voice matters when it came to their learning environment. Currently, I work at the Kansas Volunteer Commission as the Mentor Kansas Director.
Campaign Address 2109 Quail Creek Dr.
Campaign Phone (785) 979-2899
Education Bachelor Degree from Haskell Indian Nations University in Indigenous and American Indian Studies. Currently, hold a Master Degree in Geography from the University of Kansas.
Community/Public Service Advisory Committee Chair of the Native American Student Services. Board member of the Sunrise Project.
Address 2109 Quail Creek Dr.
Web Site
CampaignPhone 7859792899
A locally-elected school board member is responsible for maintaining, developing and operating local schools. Members participate and support a vision for the public education system in our community and responsible for establishing a yearly budget, evaluating progress toward goal achievement and adopt policies, curriculum and handbooks. Including the responsibility of supporting our teachers and students in classrooms and beyond.
I think a school board member has the responsibility to initiate educational policy for USD 497 and oversight to those policies are upheld. As a board member, there is an obligation to ensure that any policies are communicated to the public, teachers, staff, and parents.
A child’s primary caregiver is the first and most important teacher of their children. No one knows your child like you do and your voice matters. Students who have family members that are involved in their education have much better outcomes. However, not every parent has had the best experience with the school system and barriers to communication can prevent parent engagement. District 497 strategic plan initiatives should include an emphasis on improving family-school relationships.
School board members are advocates for public education in our community and are charged with communicating needs to our representatives. It needs to be a year round effort that will better support community and school district.