This year there are four board of education seats up for election in November, so I decided to resign my term early to all the district on-board a new board member early ( so all four wouldn't possibly be at once, that would be overwhelming)...and for me to pursue the mayoral campaign. I thought you'd find my letter of resignation of interest. We've sure had quite the journey over these past years. Thanks for the honor of serving our community in this capacity. It's been an amazing experience, that I've loved so much.
24 March 2023
Dr. Brent Yeager, Superintendent
Shannon Wickliffe, Board President
Olathe Public Schools
14160 Black Bob Road
Olathe, Kansas 66062
Dr. Yeager and Mr. Wickliffe,
This letter represents my official notice of resignation from the Olathe School District Board of Education (BOE), effective immediately. While I will always be a fervent supporter of our incredible district, it is time for me to pass the torch and begin new adventures. This experience has been one of the great joys of my lifetime.
When I began my elected service on the BOE in 2011, the No Child Left Behind Act was federal law, Dr. Marlin Berry was our Superintendent, the 6-9 reconfiguration had just been implemented, student enrollment was 27,943 and growing annually. We still had elementary schools without classroom doors (a concept from the 70s thought to foster collaboration, but impossible to secure in a school lock-down), our very first on-line e-Learning class was rolled out, the K-State Olathe Innovation Campus grand-opening occurred, and the district had 10,600 computers. What an amazing journey the past
12 years have been, working together to provide an excellent education and meet the increasingly diverse learning needs of our students.
It is no exaggeration to claim that we have one of the most supportive, collaborative, and innovative communities in the nation. Our supportive community knows that investing in our schools is wise and the return on investment is evident in the academic achievement of our students. Our average ACT score of 22.1 is well above the state and national averages. Our graduation rate is 92.4 percent and our student enrollment in Advanced Placement is high, and opportunities abound. The support of Olathe Public Schools was evident in each of the three bond elections that were held during my service on the board:
2013, $244.8 million bond (approved by 77 percent);
2016, $156 million bond (approved by 72.3 percent); and
2021, $298.3 million bond (approved by 67.73 percent*).
* In the midst of the volatile COVID-19 pandemic
These bonds have supported the purchase of future sites, construction of new schools, additions to schools, refurbishing & maintenance projects, renewing aging facility projects, safety & security projects, and technology.
Thanks to a community that faithfully invests in our school district, we’ve added a 5th high school (Olathe West), a 10th middle school (Summit Trail), the 35th & 36th elementary schools (Millbrooke & Canyon Creek), Olathe Advanced Technology Center, Mill Creek Campus, Technology Support Center, and much more! Collaboration and innovation to meet the needs of our students are hallmarks of our strong partnerships with the Professional Council, Olathe Public Schools Foundation, City of Olathe, Olathe Police Department, Olathe Fire Department, KidsTLC, Olathe Human Relations Commission, Diversity & Engagement Partnerships, Johnson County Government, The Spot, Mayor’s Children’s Fund, Adopt-A-School partnerships, 21st Century Academy partnerships, Olathe Historical Society, Student Teacher Partnerships, Olathe Health, Kansas School for the Deaf, MidAmerica Nazarene University, JCCC, and the list goes on and on. Thanks to our supportive, collaborative, and innovative community, our team has the tools and talent we need to thrive, as evidenced in our recent recognition1 by Forbes Magazine as the 12th best mid-size employer in the entire nation. The glue that binds this all together are our teachers and staff, who are second to none, caring deeply about our students and continually seeking new ways to meet their needs and prepare them for their future.
We are now on the fourth superintendent of my tenure, and Dr. Yeager, you are an amazing triumph for our board/district in that you are the manifestation of our long-time ambition to grow our own superintendent. You are uniquely qualified to lead our beloved district into the future, and I will continue to pray for you as you shoulder this heavy burden. I will always consider hiring you as the superintendent of USD 233 one of the best decisions ever. Shannon, it has been an honor to serve with you. I look forward to faithfully supporting the Olathe School District in new ways, and I’ll be cheering you on all along the way! #4thekids
LeEtta J. Felter
1 Peachman, R. (2023). Meet America’s Best Midsize Employers 2023. Forbes