Four 501 board members to leave at once, confident in district's future

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Tuesday's elections will bring big changes to Topeka's school board.

Four of the seven members opted not to seek re-election taking decades of experience with them.

Outbound board members leave big shoes to fill. All four were first elected back in 2007.

"What it means is bringing on a whole new generation of fresh viewpoints," said Dr. Peg McCarthy, one of the outgoing board members.

McCarthy and other outgoing board member Patrick Woods leave their positions with pride.

"Personally there is a lot, I believe, for us outgoing members to be proud of," Woods said.

"It's ended up being one of the most rewarding experiences of my life," McCarthy said.

The two say they feel comfortable leaving 501 to new leadership because they've met their goals - and believe the district has a strong foundation on which the next board may build.

"I really feel confident that everyone running for the board truly wants to do what's right for kids and that's exciting," McCarthy said.

"The best board members are people who have children currently attending ... Most of us have had our children go through the system and graduate now, and feel like its the right time for new members to take over."

Though they may be passing the baton - it's up to the voters to decide who takes it.

"I honestly really do believe that this is the most important elected office that we have. It is the office that sets the direction of the institution that educates our children - our future workforce, our most precious resource, the people that will have to make the big decisions to help us win the future," Woods said.

Only one of the four seats on Tuesday's ballot is uncontested.

One contest has two candidates, while the other two have three candidates in the running.