Lansing school board candidates respond to questions

The Leavenworth Times

Eleven candidates will be facing each other in an Aug. 3 primary for three at-large positions on the Lansing Board of Education.

The Leavenworth Times submitted the same questions to the candidates. The answers from five of the candidates are featured in this . The responses from the candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

Answers from other candidates in the race will appear in Wednesday's edition. The Times did not receive responses from two candidates, John Hattok and Mary Wood.

Voters in the primary will be asked to vote for three or fewer candidates. The top six vote-getters will advance to the Nov. 2 general election.

The election is non-partisan, which means candidates did not file as representatives of political parties.

There also is a race this year for an unexpired term on the Lansing school board. Three people have filed as candidates for this position, which is not enough to force a primary.

Later this week, the Times will feature responses from primary candidates for Leavenworth City Commission.

Ari Ryan Ailin

Ari Ryan Ailin

Age: 34

Occupation: Law enforcement investigator

Political experience: None

Jeff Bollin

Jeff Bollin

Age: 39

Occupation: Project superintendent/heavy equipment operator at LEXECO

Political Experience: None

Amy Cawvey

Amy Cawvey

Age: 50

Occupation: Parent

Political experience: None

Sean DeSouza

Sean DeSouza

Age: 45

Occupation: Owner of Excellence in Construction, design and build remodeling contractor

Political experience: No previous experience

Roy Foster

Roy Foster

Age: 42

Occupation: Health care executive

Political experience: None

1. Why are you running for the Lansing Board of Education?

Ailin: I intend to serve the students and teachers by supporting evidence and research based education, transparent and open communication with families, and advocating for the student as the priority.

Bollin: I am running for the Lansing Board of Education because a student’s education needs to become our No. 1 priority again. We need to be a voice for our children’s future!

Cawvey: I will be a voice for the parents, taxpayers and students. I am against critical race theory. I would like board accountability, transparency and increased student performance.

DeSouza: I am passionate about the growth of the Lansing Preschool and Child Care Center as well as partnerships in programs like the Y-Club for before and after school care. For parents with busy schedules, it is important we provide safe educational-based programs to nurture students around the daily school schedule.

Foster: I am passionate about helping our school district become the archetype for ensuring our students are career and college-ready. I bring board experience that will elevate our influence as a board.

2. What are the most important issues facing the Lansing public schools?

Ailin: The largest challenge facing the district in the next few years is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring those impacted are able to continue to have a full education.

Bollin: The most important issues facing the Lansing public schools are making sure our students are our No. 1 priority and the lack of fiscal responsibility and accountability.

Cawvey: Too many students are not performing at grade-level, and the majority graduating are not college-ready. We need better allocation of funding at the school board level, not increased funding.

DeSouza: Keeping and retaining high quality teachers and listening to the needs of teachers is important to help grow our schools in these challenging times. Our teachers are our most valuable asset and the key to the growth of our children.

Foster: We need a district that aspires to overachieve in areas of career and college readiness; we need to thoroughly assess and understand the COVID-19 gap and develop a plan for how we are going to close them; we need to improve our budgeting practices and discipline.