• USD 207 welcomes new school board member

  • The newest Unified School District 207 Board of Education member gets sworn in.

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    Lt. Col. Chris Evans was sworn in as the newest Unified School District 207 Board of Education member before the monthly board meeting Sept. 17 at the USD 207 board office.
    “Welcome to Lieutenant Colonel Evans,” said Myron Griswold, board president. “It is great to have you as part of our board. We’re full up again.”
    This is Evans’ second time at Fort Leavenworth. He graduated in 2015 from the Command and General Staff Officer Course. He returned to Fort Leavenworth in 2016 and is currently with Operations Group X-Ray, Mission Command Training Program. His son is a ninth-grader at Patton Junior High School and his daughter is a sophomore at Leavenworth High School.
    Evans said his decision to apply for the position came from something his grandfather told him many years ago.
    “My granddaddy was on the school board when my aunts and uncles and my dad were younger. He said, ‘You got two choices. You can either sit by and let other people make decisions for you and your children or you can get involved and help shape the future for you and your children.’ That stuck with me,” Evans said.
    “I saw a vacancy advertised in the Lamp, and so I said, ‘Why sit by when I’ve got the capacity and I can help shape things for my kids and everyone else’s kids, too?’”
    Evans said he had hopes for both his contributions to the school board and his personal growth from the experience.
    “I would like to contribute ideas and concepts that will help not necessarily the kids who are in school right now, although I think we will have some quick splashes, but I hope to be able to influence positive outcomes for the district’s children in the out years,” he said.
    “Personally, I hope to get personal growth. At some point, I’m going to retire from the Army and I’m actually looking to become a school teacher. So, by seeing both from the administrative side and from the teaching side, I hope to become more rounded for my own personal future.”
    Evans said he hopes to become a high school teacher after he retires from the Army, though he has no current plans of retirement.
    New position
    During the meeting, the board approved the addition of a director of grant programming position in the school district.
    “This position will focus solely on the management and execution of the current grants, as well as future applications that will tie directly into the district programs, operations and goals,” said Superintendent Keith Mispagel.
    Page 2 of 2 - Funding for the position will come from the Impact Aid account, Mispagel said.
    “This will not take away from any classroom position — paras, instructional assistants, building assistants or teachers,” Mispagel said.
    Within the coming weeks, the job opening will be posted on the district website, www.usd207.org. The chosen candidate will work directly under SuAnn Grant, USD 207 deputy superintendent.
    Enrollment
    As of Sept. 12, there are 1,857 students enrolled in preschool through ninth grade, 69 fewer students than from the 2017/18 school year at this time. However, there are 44 more full-time students at 1,775 students from last year’s 1,731.
    “Our numbers, I’m not concerned with them because we did receive an increase, based per pupil from a funding standpoint,” Mispagel said. “I do expect us to enroll some more students.”
    The official enrollment count date is Sept. 20 for the state of Kansas.
    “We’ll have that as a baseline for our operational budget maximum and we’re also eligible for the Feb. 20 count if additional students come,” Mispagel said.
    All board meetings are open to the community. The next USD 207 board meeting is at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 15 at the district office. For a complete minutes, visit https://www.boarddocs.com/ks/usd207/Board.nsf/Public.
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