Steve Buffo said he was guided by a simple principle to run for a seat on the Lansing School Board.

Steve Buffo said he was guided by a simple principle to run for a seat on the Lansing School Board.

Raised in Lansing and educated in its schools, Buffo said what's best for the district's students should always be the primary concern of the board.

But Buffo said Friday that he has a lot of other attributes to offer the board as he seeks one of the three open spots on the seven-member body. The part-time dairy farmer and millright at Kansas City's Bartlett Grain has two sons, Cole and Logan. Cole is now a junior at Kansas State University and Logan, he said, is a fourth-grade student at Lansing Elementary School. Buffo said the new school projects ― a completely new high school and a new middle school fashioned from the current ninth-through-12th-grade facility ―  are scheduled to be done by the time Logan is in high school. Buffo said he feels he can help as those projects move forward, regardless of his own feelings about them.

“I want to make sure that it's done right,” he said. “I feel I have some qualifications to be an asset in making this come to fruition.”

Buffo said he taught building trades classes at Leavenworth High School for 10 years before going into business with new home construction himself. He said he feels that experience and knowledge will be valuable for the board.

But that's not the only thing that Buffo said he would try to bring to the table.

“The biggest thing that I feel I have to offer is common sense,” he said.

Since the time he himself was in enrolled in the Lansing schools, Buffo said the community has grown significantly – the Wyndham Hill subdivision behind his house was once part of his family's farm. But as the city and the district continue to grow, Buffo said he wanted to make sure that no one is left behind.

“I don't have any issues with what's taking place or what they're doing,” he said. “I just want to make sure that we're able to touch and help everybody.”

He said he would like to see the district explore the idea of offering more vocational and technical education classes, if funding is available. In general, Buffo said he would like to expand the number and variety of opportunities available to Lansing's students, if funding allows. Those opportunities, he said, can help “feed the fire” for students looking at a particular career path.

“You try your darndest to give them those experiences,” he said.

Buffo also recognized that he will be a part of a larger team in making the decisions that guide the school. Though Buffo said he has his own ideas, he also considers being part of the board to be a little like his relationship to his family's farm, where he still lives south of Lansing ― he said he doesn't consider himself the owner of the land, but rather the caretaker who hopes to leave the area in better shape than when he started. He said he feels he has some unique characteristics that help him in that regard.

“I'm hard-working, I'm dedicated and willing to achieve a common goal,” he said.