Doug Darling said he's running for the Leavenworth Board of Education because he wants to help out.
Darling, who previously served two terms on the board, said two of the issues he's concerned about are preparing students who don't intend to go to college and reducing the number of central office personnel.
Darling, who works as a military analyst at Fort Leavenworth, is one of five people who filed to run for the Leavenworth school board this year.
There are three at-large positions on the board that are up for election.
No primary will be necessary. The general election will be April 2. The other candidates who filed for the Leavenworth Board of Education are Mike Carney, Mike Robinson, Verna Raines and Danny Zeck. Robinson and Raines currently serve on the board. Carney and Zeck previously served on the board.
Darling served as a board member from 1995 to 1999 and 2003-2007.
Darling said he thinks the school district does a good job of preparing students to go to college. But he said not all students will go to college, and he wants to focus on providing these students the skills necessary to succeed.
"For various reasons, Leavenworth High School has basically abandoned these approaches we used to have," he said.
He believes people who know how to fix things will be in high demand.
He said four-year liberal arts colleges usually don't teach these skills.
He said the school system won't be able to reinstate a really good vocational program in the district. But school officials can work to get students to vo-tech centers. School officials also can work with businesses to establish work study programs for students.
Darling said he was glad to hear about an alternative program that will be offered as a partnership between the Leavenworth and Lansing school districts.
Darling said he believes the district's central office "has gotten a little too big."
He said a reduction at the central office could free up resources for the schools.
Darling noted that another candidate, Carney, also has stated that helping students who aren't college bound and the size of the central office staff are important issues.
Darling served in the Army and later the Army Reserve, retiring in 1995. He said the military brought him to Leavenworth and he stayed when he went off active duty.
His wife is an elementary school teacher.
Darling said he's been associated with David Brewer Elementary School in one way or another for about 25 years including serving on the site council.