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Brian Koon announces run for SM North area board of education seat

SMSD+Board+of+Education+candidate+Brian+Koon+%28right%29+with+his+wife%2C+who+is+an+art+teacher+in+SMSD%2C+and+two+children%2C+who+attend+Crestview+Elementary.+
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Brian Koon announces run for SM North area board of education seat

SMSD Board of Education candidate Brian Koon (right) with his wife, who is an art teacher in SMSD, and two children, who attend Crestview Elementary.

SMSD Board of Education candidate Brian Koon (right) with his wife, who is an art teacher in SMSD, and two children, who attend Crestview Elementary.

photo courtesy of Brian Koon

SMSD Board of Education candidate Brian Koon (right) with his wife, who is an art teacher in SMSD, and two children, who attend Crestview Elementary.

photo courtesy of Brian Koon

photo courtesy of Brian Koon

SMSD Board of Education candidate Brian Koon (right) with his wife, who is an art teacher in SMSD, and two children, who attend Crestview Elementary.

Grace Altenhofen, Editor-in-Chief

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Brian Koon, an SMSD parent who also works as an English Language Learner aide within the district, announced his candidacy for the SM North area board of education seat Feb. 27.

Koon, a longtime education advocate, will run against current SMSD board member Sara Goodburn if she chooses to seek reelection. Goodburn has not yet announced a decision to re-run.

“The Shawnee Mission School District is an excellent school system, blessed with some of the
most dedicated and masterful professionals in the country,” Koon said in a press release. “If elected, my job as a
board member is to support students, teachers, and patrons, and to help collaboratively find
solutions to the challenges our district faces.”

According to Koon’s website, briankoonforkansas.com, these challenges include closing the achievement gap and discipline disparity between white and minority students in the district. He believes the best way to begin this process is by constantly monitoring discipline rates between races and presenting these statistics at least quarterly to the board of education.

“Tracking our progress with this issue will be critical to the success of our district, and I look forward to working with stakeholders on these and other measures,” Koon’s website reads. “This is an issue that must be monitored on a permanent and ongoing basis.”

Another goal for Koon if elected would be to allocate funds to pay off students’ lunch account debt so no student has to go without lunch or go into debt to eat.

“[H]ungry students simply deserve to have their basic needs met and I believe the district has a responsibility to fulfill those needs,” his website reads.

The state of libraries in the district also poses a concern for Koon, as SMSD does not require librarians to have actual librarian certification.

“Going forward, I propose that only certified Librarians be hired for the Librarian position,” Koon’s website reads. “We wouldn’t hire unqualified principals just to save a little money, and doing so with the library special or any other teaching position is no different.”

Koon filed to run for an at-large seat in the 2017 board of education election; however, he eventually dropped out of the race and announced his support for now-board member Heather Ousley.

“This election is about moving the Shawnee Mission School District forward and making sure ALL of our students have their needs meet,” Koon said in his press release. “I understand what it’s like to struggle and still want the best possible education for your kids. As a school board member I want to ensure that students and teachers are given what they need to be successful in the classroom, so our students can be successful in life.”

He also emphasized his desire to hear from students during the course of his campaign.

“I want to be more available for students,” Koon said. “If students have issues to discuss, observations to make, or simply successes they want to share, I’ll always listen.”

Koon can be contacted through his campaign email, [email protected]

 

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Brian Koon announces run for SM North area board of education seat