Several USD 258 contenders speak



March 16, 2015 - 12:00 AM

HUMBOLDT — Four of the eight at-large candidates for USD 258’s school board appeared before about 30, mostly teachers and staff, Saturday morning. The results of the April 7 election will propel the ballot’s top four vote-getters into that office.
Absent were Craig Mintz; Donald Hauser, who was called away to attend a family funeral; and incumbent candidates Sandra Whitaker and Joe Works.
Candidates had five minutes for introductions.

BRIANA WILKERSON is a school psychologist currently working in Garnett. She and her family live in Humboldt, where her two daughters attend the elementary and middle schools. Prior to working in Garnett, Wilkerson was for five years a special education teacher in Humboldt, working for the ANW Co-op. Wilkerson describes herself as a data-based decision-maker, whose ability to work with students, parents and the community is not simply an untested promise — but a function she performs on a daily basis in her current role as school psychologist.
Wilkerson is the only candidate to have attended every school board meeting since August.
“This is not about the platform,” Wilkerson said. “The students, the kids in this community, are my constituents, as well as the patrons of USD 258. We have an amazing district here, and in order to keep progressing in the right direction it will sometimes involve change…. I think there needs to be a group of individuals on [the board] who are listening to the people in the community and looking at what is best for our kids and what will positively affect them in the long run.
“Because your school,” Wilkerson said, “really is the heart of your community.”

JOYCE ALLEN is a past graduate of HHS, who recently moved back to her “old stomping grounds” after 35 years working as a director of medical imaging in Coffeyville. Married, with four grown children and seven grandchildren — two of whom are enrolled at Humboldt — Allen drew the audience’s attention to the eight years she spent on the school board at Labette County-USD 506 and the “strong and valuable experience” that follows therefrom.
“I feel I have a vested interest and would like to help play an important role in providing a happy, caring and stimulating environment where children will recognize and achieve to their fullest potential, so that they can make the best contribution to their society upon leaving HHS.”

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