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Eleven vying for three spots on Lee’s Summit school board

Bill Baird has not filed to seek another three-year term on the Lee’s Summit school board. Baird had led the effort to get the district’s previous superintendent to resign.
Bill Baird has not filed to seek another three-year term on the Lee’s Summit school board. Baird had led the effort to get the district’s previous superintendent to resign. Lee’s Summit School District

With municipal elections more than two months away, 11 candidates have filed for three slots on the Lee’s Summit school board.

The annual municipal and school election will be held April 4. Current board members Bill Baird, Terri Harmon and Chris Storms did not file as candidates, leaving the field wide open for new board members.

In the running for those seats are Jacqueline Clark, Dennis D. Smith, Susan D. Coffman, Kim Fritchie, Carl J. Quijas, Mark Dziedzic, Ryan N. Murdock, Diego Gutierrez, Michael W. McMenus, Jill Worstell and Mark S. Augustin.

Board of education members are elected to three-year terms during at-large elections.

In the past year, the school board became embroiled in controversy when some board members questioned whether a romantic relationship between then-Superintendent David McGehee and a lead attorney for the district presented a conflict of interest. Board members and some Lee’s Summit residents called for the resignation of McGehee, who at the time was the highest-paid superintendent in the state.

Baird led the charge calling for McGehee to resign, and the two engaged in a public war of words over the issue.

MeGehee resigned in May after he and the board agreed to a one-year buyout of $450,000.

Earlier this month, the board named Dennis Carpenter its new superintendent. Last week, Carpenter was at the center of questions in Lee’s Summit about pending litigation against the Hickman Mills School District, which Carpenter has led since 2013.

Lee’s Summit board members said Carpenter was not named in the age discrimination suits and that they stand by their decision to have him lead the district. Carpenter officially takes the reigns in Lee’s Summit on July 1.

Mará Rose Williams: 816-234-4419, @marawilliamskc

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