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Lee’s Summit Elects First Black Board Member And OKs School Building Projects

Submitted photo
Megan Marshall won one of three open seats on the Lee's Summit school board Tuesday night. Marshall, who is black, is the first candidate of color to be elected to the board.

Voters in Lee’s Summit have elected a woman of color to the school board, one year after the district’s first black superintendent resigned because of racial tension.

Megan Marshall, a retired U.S. Marine, is the parent of two students and one graduate from the district. She won one of three open seats with 21% of the vote.

“With so much happening in the world, these are the moments to step up for positive change for our children, for our families, for our communities,” Marshall wrote on Facebook after a morning spent driving around putting up campaign signs at polling locations.

Incumbent Kim Fritchie, a retired school administrator, and newcomer Kathy Campbell, a senior project manager at Cerner, claimed the other two seats in a crowded nine-candidate field.

Lee’s Summit voters also approved a $224 million bond issue to build a fourth middle school and renovate the district’s oldest high school. Along with new board members, the district has a new superintendent, David Buck. Together, they inherit a district that’s seen several tumultuous years, starting with the hiring of its first black superintendent, Dennis Carpenter.

Carpenter resigned last summer after clashing with the then all-white school board over diversity training parents of color said was desperately needed. For months, some of those parents lined up at school board meetings to report racial bullying.

About a quarter of Lee’s Summit students are children of color.

North Kansas City Schools
North Kansas City has already started tearing down an old shopping center to build a new early childhood education facility.

New schools for North Kansas City

Voters in North Kansas City also overwhelmingly approved a construction bond to build and renovate schools Tuesday.

North Kansas City Superintendent Dan Clemens said he was relieved 79% of voters supported the district even though kids haven’t been in schools for months because of the pandemic.

“This is the first good news we’ve had in a while,” Clemens said Tuesday night. “It means a lot to this community (because) this bond issue will create 522 jobs.”

Construction has already started on a new early childhood education center. The district is also replacing two elementary schools, building new sports stadiums and adding onto Staley High to accommodate new students, about 400 of whom enroll in NKC Schools every year.

Elle Moxley covered education for KCUR.
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