A former Wichita middle school teacher has filed for a seat on the Wichita school board, hoping to represent the district Lynn Rogers has served for 16 years.
Ron Rosales, 51, is a paraeducator at Haysville High School. A U.S. Navy veteran, he taught social studies at Jardine Middle School and Curtis Middle School in Wichita for about 10 years before resigning last year to pursue a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction.
“I was concerned about school funding and just overall representation in this district. It’s a predominantly Hispanic district, and I thought I would be a good representative,” said Rosales, who is Hispanic.
Last fall, for the first time, the overall number of Hispanic students in Wichita schools surpassed the number of non-Hispanic white students.
Rogers currently represents District 6, which covers Riverside, Midtown, parts of north and northeast Wichita, Park City, Kechi and Bel Aire. He announced this month that he would not seek a fifth term on the school board.
Rosales, a political newcomer, said his recent experience in Wichita classrooms would add a crucial perspective to the board. State law prohibits current employees of a school district from serving on that district’s board, but a teacher in one district can serve on the school board where he or she lives.
“I think some of the board members might not have the experience of what teachers are going through,” he said. “Not to say they’re not sympathetic or even empathetic, but let’s just say they might not have the perspective of a teacher.”
Rosales and his wife have two adult children who graduated from Wichita schools.
The Wichita school board serves the state’s largest school district, which has more than 51,000 students. Its members are unpaid and elected to four-year terms.
The filing deadline for school board seats is noon on June 1. The primary is Aug. 1, and the general election is Nov. 7.