The Johnson County Community College and Kansas City, Kan., Community College have shown themselves to be adept at meeting the educational and workforce needs of their communities.
Voters looking at choices for the April 7 election need to select board of trustee candidates with strong credentials and forward-looking agendas to continue the progress of recent years.
The school at College and Quivira boulevards in Overland Park is recognized as one of the nation’s top community colleges. About 20,000 students are enrolled in its associate’s degree and certification programs. The college also is a cultural hub.
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A period of board and administrative turmoil has given way over the last few years to seasoned and wise leadership. To continue in that direction, voters should select incumbents Greg Musil and David Lindstrom and newcomer Nancy L. Ingram to fill three open board seats.
Musil and Lindstrom have helped guide the board in a businesslike manner. Both are deeply invested in civic affairs, bringing essential connections and resources to the college.
The same goes for Ingram, who has managed volunteer services for Olathe Medical Center, was executive director of the Olathe Public Schools Foundation and worked at Emporia State University.
Other candidates are Patricia Lightner, Larry Fotovich and Mark Read.
Lightner, a former Kansas legislator, ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Congress and, most recently, for chairman of the Johnson County Commission. Voters correctly identified Lightner as a deeply conservative candidate who would not be the best fit to move Johnson County forward. That holds true in this race.
Kansas City, Kan.
The college at 7250 State Ave., with more than 6,000 students, faces the challenge of helping to prepare Wyandotte County residents for the new, better-paying jobs that are opening up.
It has a strong leader in President Doris Givens and a new facility, the Dr. Thomas R. Burke Technical Education Center, that is one of the region’s best places to gain technical skills.
Voters will choose from five candidates to fill four open seats on the board. Though a more competitive race would have been preferable, The Star recommends returning the four incumbents. They are Ray Daniels, former superintendent of the Kansas City, Kan., School District; Don Ash, Wyandotte County sheriff; Mary Ann Flunder, a long-serving board member and community leader; and Clyde Townsend, also a veteran board member.
The fifth candidate, Victor B. Trammell, attended the college but appears to lack much professional experience.