Allenbrand applying for open Board seat
The De Soto USD 232 Board of Education meeting Monday was short and bittersweet.
The meeting was the last for 12-year member Marsha Bennett, Superintendent Marilyn Layman and Board clerk Barbara Weis. And depending on a decision of the new Board next month, it might have been the last meeting for another 12-year Board veteran, Curtis Allenbrand.
As Board members attempted to stretch the short agenda until 7 p.m. for the customary public comment period, Bennett recalled her years on the Board. Brushing aside tears, Bennett said the Internet did not yet exist when she came to the Board. The district must now respond to the No Child Left Behind Act, the state budget crisis and continued district growth, she said.
"You guys will have a lot of changes," she told her fellow Board members. "You will overcome those challenges the same way we did those in the last 12 years. We put our personal feelings aside and just worked together."
In her farewell, Layman thanked the Board for its support during what she called the best 13 years of her life.
"This Board has made its presence known around the state," she said. "You are truly a model."
Allenbrand didn't join in the farewells. He is hoping to be appointed to Position 4 when the Board fills the vacancy in July.
"As soon as it comes available, I'm going to apply for the two years left in that term," he said. "I don't want to leave with a new superintendent just starting."
The Position 4 vacancy became official Monday when Sandra Thierer resigned as of June 30. She will be sworn in to the Position 3 seat during the Board's July 7 meeting.
The switch resulted from the Board's re-districting last fall, which drew the boundary lines of the Position 4 district in a way that excluded Allenbrand's residence. At that time, it was thought Allenbrand would run for Bennett's at-large seat during spring elections. However, Allenbrand forgot about the re-districting and assumed he could seek re-election to Position 3. He only learned of his error when he sought to file for the seat the morning of the filing deadline.
After Allenbrand learned of his mistake, Thierer filed for the seat and won in an unopposed contest.
Despite Allenbrand's desire to stay on the Board, his appointment to the open seat is not guaranteed. State statute requires the Board publish notice of the opening and give applicants 15 days to respond. It was decided Monday the notice would be published in the July 3 issue of the Explorer, requesting letters of interest.
Those interested in the Board position who live within its boundaries can be considered by sending letters of interest and any other relevant material to: USD 232 Clerk of the Board Wendy Denham, 35200 W. 91st Street, De Soto, KS, 66018. To be eligible, applicants must live within that part of the district west of Corliss Road. That includes most of De Soto and Lexington Township.