School board vet seeks another termPublished 10:04am Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Dick Lees has 16 years experience serving on the school board. He spent more than 35 years teaching science at Austin Public Schools, as well as teaching science as an adjunct instructor at Riverland Community College. Lees figures that experience can still be used for Austin’s education as a candidate running for re-election to the Austin Public Schools board.
“Right now, my experience could help in this next couple years,” he said.
With Aaron Keenan and Jeff Kritzer leaving the board after this year, only he, Don Fox, and Kathy Green are multiple-term board members. Greg Larson and Angie Goetz were elected to the board last year. Since Austin is going through several reforms — from a new fifth- and sixth-grade intermediate school to Sumner Elementary School’s year-round calendar — Lees believes experience gives him an edge over other candidates.
“All this has to be kept track of,” he said.
Aside from keeping current district initiatives on track, Lees hopes the board looks at boosting district gifted and talented programs over the next several years.
“With all the programs out, we want to be sure that we’re challenging the gifted and talented so that when they leave Austin High, they can enter any college and do well with a good background,” he said.
He is one of nine candidates to face off in an Aug. 14 primary, where six candidates for school board will remain on the ballot come November. Lees joins Carol McAlister, Kathy Glowac, Mary Jane Kestner, Bud Johnson, Bruce Quitmeyer, Don Leathers, David Price and Matthew Tabor as candidates for three board seats.