Mar. 23, 2019
Name: Kathryn Campbell
Occupation: IT Program Management
Education: MBA, University of Missouri – Kansas City; BBA with Minor in Computer Based Information Systems, University of Missouri – Kansas City; ITIL Foundations Certification, V 3.0; Certified Scrum Master, ScrumAlliance
Years lived in LS: 20
Previous elected offices held: None – this is my first campaign!
Why are you running for school board?
I care passionately about kids and their education. Before I had kids – I volunteered working with kids in different learning programs. We moved to Lee’s Summit because of the schools and as my sons were growing up, I volunteered in different roles so as a next step following their graduation it was part of my plan to serve our families and community on the LSR7 School Board. The timing of my run was really fueled by the great amount of change the district is going through now. We’ve got to ensure we have leaders, decision-makers that are willing to do their homework and consider carefully the impact of the choices we make, ensure full participation and then make sure there is consistent, transparent communication to everyone on the impact and the why of the change and follow through on accountability that the changes we make are bringing the results we planned for.
What ties, personally or professionally, do you have to the LSR7 School District?
My ties are the personal relationships I’ve built across our community with teachers, administrators, support staff and most important the students.
What other volunteer/civic involvement have you had? What have you learned from that experience?
Every volunteer role I’ve had has been a learning experience for me. From understanding the financial accountability, community responsibility and mission of the organization I’ve volunteered for – to understanding both fellow volunteers and people I’m working with receiving services – the caring hearts, minds, and spirits of each person and that everyone brings their unique strengths and perspective to the relationship. I think most important in my learning has been and continues to be – it’s not about me – it’s about the common mission of the service we share and each face and heart of each person I’m working for.
LSR7 Volunteer Roles
• LSHS PTSA President, Vice President & Reflections Coordinator
• LSHS PTSA/ProjectGrad Chair
• LSR7 PTA Area Council Reflections Chair
• LSHS Team Driven Team Mentor
• LSHS Gridiron Club, Organization Chair
• LSHS Gridiron Club, Football Auction Chair
• PLMS, PTA Volunteer
• Highland Park Elementary, PTA Volunteer – multiple roles
• Highland Park Elementary, Classroom Volunteer
Somerset @ Charleston Park Homeowner’s Association
• President and Secretary, Somerset @ Charleston Park
• Vice President, Tower Park Homeowners Association
• Fundraising Chair for Tower Park/Troost YMCA
• Reading Tutor, Time to Read partnership with KCP&L Employees & Guadalupe Center
• Junior Achievement Classroom Volunteer, KCMO School District
• Harvesters Volunteer
• Wayside Waifs Volunteer
• Habitat for Humanity Volunteer
• MOCSA Volunteer, Crisis Counselor
• United Way of Greater Kansas City, Loaned Executive
• March of Dimes, Ambassador Family 2000 and 2001
If elected, what would be your top priority as a board member?
Providing quality education opportunities to all students in LSR7 to prepare each student for success in life.
In your opinion, what are the strengths and weaknesses of our school district?
There are many strengths in our district that include the quality educational and extracurricular opportunities, the teachers, the administrators, the support staff, the students, the families and community support for our district, the facilities, the technology and tools and those strengths also have within them our biggest opportunities for the future in capacity and class sizes, in meeting each student where they are to best support them in their learning, in expanding and growing looking to the future the educational and extracurricular opportunities, in ensuring our teachers, staff and administrators have the very best tools, training and opportunity, in ensuring our facilities and technology are scalable – change is constant for all of us but especially in education – the vision for our future as a district and the future education of our kids has to be at the top of our agenda.
What do you foresee being the biggest hurdle facing the district in the upcoming years?
Ensuring as a community we stay focused on the mission and vision and future for our district and ensuring we work to collaborate on the best path to living that mission and vision as a community.
What are your plans for returning funding to dwindling and lost extracurricular activities?
The board certainly has a responsibility to ensure that tax-payer dollars are spent wisely and that’s across the overall district budget including the extracurricular opportunities. Ensuring there are extracurricular activities that are available and engaging to all of our students will strengthen and support not only their learning but their sense of community and belonging as a community – that Portrait of a Graduate – so every year and throughout the year – we need to review these opportunities and review this funding to ensure it’s built for the future to go lockstep with our growth in curriculum opportunities.
How can the school district better prepare students for careers that don’t require a traditional four-year degree?
Providing educational opportunities – preparing students for success in life means just that – ensuring that education includes that full spectrum – technical, trade or traditional four year or more college degrees.
How do you view the financial management of the district? Would you do anything to change it?
We need to ensure the city, community and school district are strategically planning together for the future – I view these as tightly integrated with a strong, vibrant school district being the backbone of a strong, vibrant community – planning for growth in one builds and feeds growth in all of those. We are dependent as a district for financial growth in development and growth in our city – leadership needs to work together on that strategic growth and direction.
Do you believe that a teacher’s evaluation should be based on student test scores?
Clearly there are protocols provided by the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education which follow as a leader in the private sector what I believe strongly in – performance should be evaluated across multiple areas identifying not only where our current performance is but also where our growth opportunities are. Our teachers do an amazing job every day – and supporting them in their learning and growth is critical for our district!
What are your ideas for addressing suicide education and awareness at all school levels?
When we look at a student in our district we need to meet that student where they are and that includes looking at them as a whole person including their mental health. We have got to provide supports both offered within the district as well as ensure collaboration and connection with services available in our community. As a District, we are making advances when we look at a trauma-based approach – we are making advances in working to connect students with services. We aren’t there yet but we are moving in the right direction and we must ensure this view of the whole person continues to be at the core of our approach and then we need to put in accountability mechanisms to ensure the actions being taken are making a real difference in the lives of our students.
What are your thoughts on the community conversations regarding equity and race relations, including the board’s recently adopted LSR7 Equity Plan, and how will you help move the district forward?
I look to the mission of our district – “We prepare Students for success in life” – that shouldn’t just be a phrase nailed up on the wall – we’ve got to live and breath that as a district and as a community. Our statistics on test scores provide the facts we need to work from. That work has started, and we need to ensure moves forward with changes that are tracked to ensure the changes bring the desired results and if not – where we need to go as a next step.
At the Chamber Forum – the question was raised by a person in the audience that African-American parents feel seen but not heard. A parent is the # 1 advocate for their child – if we have parents that feel seen but not heard that’s a barrier as a district and community we’ve got discuss and remove – that student needs their # 1 advocate seen and heard.
There has been criticism of the current superintendent and administration that has gone from constructive to unreasonable, particularly on social media. How do you propose creating a constructive dialog with the community?
It’s imperative that we work collaboratively toward a shared mission – preparing our students for success in life – we may have different ideas on how to achieve that but this Board is tasked with achieving that and providing governance and accountability around achieving that – so listening to everyone’s input – many different viewpoints, balancing the pros and the cons and making decisions that are sound and solely focused on our mission builds the trust required for communication going forward. Come have coffee with me and we’ll talk!
How do you plan to address public concerns and improve openness and transparency, including responding to Missouri Sunshine Law requests?
The Communication Audit provided excellent, actionable feedback that needs to drive future planning. Everyone in our community needs to be a part of the changes going forward with clear understanding of why the changes are occurring, what their role is in that change and the measurements and accountability to track the benefits of the changes to make sure we’re progressing in the way we’ve committed to.
I’m not sure I understand the question in relation to Missouri Sunshine Law requests but would ensure that as a member of the School Board I’m aware of the legal obligations of this role with Missouri Laws.
What do you think the relationship should be between the city and the school district concerning plans for additional growth in Lee’s Summit?
I’ve shared above – the strategic direction and success of both relies on full collaboration and planning for our future as a community and as a district.