© 2022 KMUW
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Wichita School District BOE Candidates Answer To Students During Forum

Deborah Shaar
USD 259 Board of Education candidates Betty Arnold, Ron Rosales, Peter Grant, Shirley Jefferson, Walt Chappell, Trish Hileman, Julie Hedrick and Mike Rodee fielded questions from an audience of more than 50 high school students during a public forum.

High school students in the Wichita School District had a chance to get to know the candidates who want to serve on their Board of Education.

At a forum Wednesday, and students were the ones asking the questions.

Four of seven Board of Education seats are up for election next month.

Credit Deborah Shaar / KMUW
High school students listen to Board of Education candidates during a forum Wednesday.

More than 50 students listened Wednesday as the candidates described their approach to increasing technology in schools, civic engagement and extra-curricular activities.

All three District 6 candidates said prioritizing spending will help them manage the district’s budget.

"My first priority is making sure our teachers get a 5 percent raise," said candidate Walt Chappell. "Secondly, that applies to the building staff. Third, is making sure we get Career and Tech Ed equipment."

Candidate Shirley Jefferson said the board needs to be strategic. 

"We should be able to provide you with more choice," she said. "I would like to see us restore support services and your extra-curricular activities."

Candidate Ron Rosales said that as a teacher, his priority is teacher salaries.

Five out of the seven candidates on the ballot for Districts 1, 2 and 5 also took part in the forum.

In District 1, current Board Member Betty Arnold is seeking re-election. Her challenger is Ben Blankley.

In District 2, Julie Hedrick, Trish Hileman and Debra Washington are on the ballot to replace current board member Joy Eakins, who is not seeking re-election.

Current board member Mike Rodee is facing Peter Grant for the District 5 seat.

Board of Education members serve four-year terms. Six of the board members must live in six specific geographic districts, while the seventh can live anywhere in the district at large.

Election Day is Nov. 7. Voters will select Board of Education members for all districts city-wide, not just for the BOE district in which the voter resides.


Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.