816 North

Competitive salaries, resources for students are top priorities

Scott Darling
Scott Darling

With three open spots and only one incumbent on the ticket, there will be some new faces on the Kearney Board of Education after the April 4 election.

Incumbent Dan Weakley is joined on the ballot by Dan Holloway, Scott Darling, Matthew Hunt and Andrette Prather. The winners will serve three-year terms.

Darling said the district needs to make sure students have the resources they need to reach their top potential.

“This means staying current with technology by maximizing the budget and finding ways to fund and provide the programs necessary, including the curriculum and the ability to attract and maintain good teachers through a competitive salary schedule,” Darling said.

Hunt drew on his own experiences when considering what to focus on during his campaign.

“I was a student of special education for many years, and I want to dig deep into this area to find where we can help our students and educators get the necessary tools needed to succeed,” he said.

He also wants to take a look at the other programs the district provides.

“I’ve seen programs like debate and drama grow and decrease,” Hunt said. “Let’s go find out what the board can do to help improve these groups for everyone. The agriculture program is the newest and the one that we must look into and continue to strive for excellence. We have students ready to continue on in this program, and if the bond isn’t passed this could be a program that might be taken away.”

District voters will also weigh in on a no-tax increase $27 million bond issue on April 4. If passed, funds would be used for facilities to help alleviate overcrowding: Kearney High School is currently over capacity at 104 percent, and the middle school is at 80 percent capacity. Funds are also slated to go toward an early childhood center.

Darling and Hunt both said they support the school bond issue.

Dan Holloway, Andrette Prather and Dan Weakley did not respond to The Star’s request for comment.

Scott Darling

Address: Kearney

Occupation: Physician in private practice

Education: Medical school

Public experience: Appointed to the Clay County Parks Advisory Board.

Website: Dr. Scott Darling for Kearney School Board on Facebook; @Dr.DarlingforKearneySchoolBoard on Twitter

Matthew Hunt

Age: 26

Address: 16610 N.E. 180th St., Holt

Occupation: Manager at (KCAP) Ford Motor Co. assembly plant

Education: Bachelor’s degree in convergent media from Missouri Western State University, 2014; master’s degree in business management from Western Governor’s University, currently enrolled

Public experience: N/A

Website: Matthew Hunt for Kearney School Board on Facebook