Oct 20, 2021 10:54 AM

Hays Post Hays USD 489 candidate profile: Ken Brooks

Posted Oct 20, 2021 10:54 AM
Ken Brooks
Ken Brooks

Ken Brooks 

Age: 52
Occupation: Safety Specialist
Community involvement: I am a member of Kiwanis. I have helped lead the Children’s Ministry at Celebration Community Church for almost 14 years. I have been the coordinator for the Thanksgiving Community Food Drive in conjunction with ECMA and First Call For Help since 2008. 

Do you or have you ever had children or grandchildren who attend(ed) Hays public schools?
Yes. I have two daughters that graduated from Hays High and one that is a junior this year. 

Did you support the USD 489 2016 and 2017 bond issues?
No and Yes.
Why or why not?
In 2016, the impression was given the bond was so high because they were trying to get everything funded all at once, the needs of the district and the desires as well. In 2017, I felt the bond was more in line with meeting the needs of our district and was reasonable. 

Would you support a bond issue if it were put to a public vote in the next year?
Yes.
What do you think it should include?
The facility improvements that are needed including classroom updates, new administrative offices and a new auditorium.

How do you think the district should address facility needs and maintenance outside of a bond issue?
Our district has done a good job this last year of finding ways to fund immediate facility concerns. I’ve seen how our community cares about the schools and have supported public education funding in the past. It will take involving our community and keeping them informed. 

What would you do to improve relations between the board and the community?
I would work toward improving the board’s public image by trying to promote unity in our board. When I speak to people in the community, the perception is that this disunified image makes it hard to have confidence in decisions that are made by them. 

Do you think board unity is important?
Yes.
Would you be able to compromise with other board members who do not share your same views?
Yes, I would. I realize the best way to make a good decision is by listening to other’s point of views so that I will have a clearer view of the big picture.
Do you think you would be able to work with the current board members who will remain on the board after the election?
Yes, I have known most of the current board for years and have a good rapport with each of them. 

What is your position on students wearing masks in schools as a COVID mitigation effort?
I think that we need to focus on what is best for the health of our students. The COVID mitigation policy that was adopted by USD 489 has done a great job of limiting the need for a mask mandate. 

Do you support the school district’s current COVID mitigation policy? If not, what would you put in its place?
Yes, it seems to be a well-thought-out policy that addresses all possible concerns.

Have you received any funds or in-kind donations from a donor from outside of the school district or a PAC? Please explain.
No.

What is the most positive and negative things about  USD 489 currently?
The most positive thing about USD 489 currently is the faculty. I don’t know a single person on staff that doesn’t want what is best for the students in the district. The most negative thing about the school district currently, in my opinion, is the high cost of enrollment in our public schools. This puts a hardship on so many families at USD 489.