The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

Meet your 2023 school board candidates

With elections coming up, get to know your USD 497 candidates

Candidates provided these bios to the Budget. 

Four-year candidates

Jody Meyer

I grew up in Kingman, Kansas and moved to Lawrence to attend KU. I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and my law degree from KU. I have been a practicing attorney in Lawrence for over 20 years. My law practice consists of family law and child related issues such as child in need of care and juvenile offender cases. I have three sons. Two graduated from Lawrence High in 2021 and 2023 and now attend KU and one who is a junior at Lawrence High. I have been actively involved as a parent in parent teacher organizations and site council meetings over the years. I have also been involved in the Lawrence community. I have been a member and chair of the City of Lawrence Historic Resources Commission and am currently serving my fourth term. I am a past president of the Douglas County Bar Association and past trustee of the Douglas County Law Library. I was on the board of directors of Tiny-K. I am also on the Kansas Bar Association Family Law Section’s Executive Committee and have been a past president of that as well.


Anne Castello

As a parent of two students and the wife of a teacher in the district, I know how decisions made by the school board can impact our students and staff. In the years leading up to now, I joined the school’s site council, the superintendent’s advisory board, the Lawrence Schools Foundation board, and Future’s committee in an attempt to see firsthand what was happening in our district. Those positions only allowed me to see so much, and the level of impact I could have in those roles was minimal. I am running so that I can make an impact. I believe that every student should have access to a high-quality education. If elected, I will work to close achievement gaps, increase support for teachers and staff, increase transparency and communication, work with the City to attract families to the district, and advocate to fully fund schools.


Carol Cadue-Blackwood

Carole Cadue-Blackwood, is seeking re-election for the USD 497 Board of Education. She graduated from Lawrence High School, and holds an Associates from Haskell Indian Nations University, a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Kansas, and a master’s in social welfare with a clinical focus from the University of Kansas. Her career and passion for public education grew as a stay-at-home mom while volunteering for The Willow Domestic Violence Center. She realized that “getting to the root” of unique systemic risk factors can shake social, emotional, mental well-being for improving achievement and outcomes. Carole works continuously and tirelessly to advocate for the most marginalized students. She was appointed by Kansas Governor Laura Kelly to serve on the Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention Committee. She believes that all students would benefit from more public dollars for classroom funding, increased neighborhood enrollment, community schools, anti-racist policies, racial and social justice/equity in our schools and communities.


Rachel Stumblingbear

Rachel Stumblingbear moved to Lawrence in 2009 for college, fell in love with the town, and never left. While she currently works as the clinic assistant at the WIC Office, she has a bachelor’s in Film and Media Studies from KU and a masters in Library and Information Science from Emporia. As a product of public school education she knows the unique quality of education that students and teachers gain from this system. She seeks to ensure that students have a safe and accepting learning environment, that teachers and staff have a supportive work culture and that everyone in the community understands how they can support our public schools. She is a lifelong learner and loves hearing about everyone’s favorite reads.


Brandon Moore

I am a father of 1 former LHS student who graduated last year and 1 current Junior. Both of my children have been active in forensics and theater. I have been involved with after prom debate/forensics judging. Originally went to school for music, education, and my career took me down a different path. I have a great appreciation for the arts, and how they can round out a great education I’m choosing to run for school board because I feel there’s a lack of diversity on the board, especially in representation for the LGBTQ+ community and representation for the underdog. The second factor that caused me to run was the rash of budget cuts without regards to how they would affect the students and teachers/staff in addition to the school closings.


Edward E.J. Gonzales 

I am a devoted father of four wonderful children, and I proudly serve as a Supervisor at a prominent IT firm in the vibrant city of Kansas City. With a Masters degree in my arsenal, I bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to my role, helping to steer our team towards success. My professional journey has been marked by accolades, including several prestigious awards for my exceptional budgeting skills. I am passionate about optimizing financial resources, ensuring the efficiency of our projects, and fostering a collaborative work environment. Outside of the office, my family is the center of my universe. As a father, I relish every moment spent with my four children, creating lasting memories and teaching them the values of hard work and dedication. My commitment to both my family and my career is the driving force that propels me forward each day.


GR Gordon-Ross

GR grew up in the small town of Kearney, MO where he learned the value of service and in giving back to his community – specifically from his mother who served on the Kearney R-1 School Board for 5 years. She was his inspiration to run for the school board here in Lawrence. GR has lived in Lawrence for over 25 years. He came in 1996 to attend KU and graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2002. He is married with 5 children. All are proud Chesty Lions with 3 having graduated and 2 are here currently, one a senior and one a sophomore. He has served on the School Board since 2018 with a brief gap in the first part of 2022. During his time on the board, he has served on the Facilities, Negotiations and Boundary committees. He is running for re-election to a 4-year term.


Yolanda Franklin

My name is Yolanda Franklin. I have called Lawrence, KS home since 1996. I came here to give my children a better opportunity for an excellent education. I worked as a Library Media Assistant at New York Elementary, and also at Riverside Elementary School when it opened. My and my family’s experiences here — and seeing the shocking lack of community representation — are part of what inspired me to run for School Board. Parents, grandparents, and the community as a whole deserve a seat at the table. We need a bridge between the community and the school board, and that is what I plan to do: be the bridge that brings everyone together to understand and help make decisions for our kids. I want to show that these decisions should be made through a transparent process that considers everyone’s input, not just the board’s or some out-of-state consultant.


Two-year candidates

Shannon Kimball

Shannon Kimball is the past president of the USD 497 board of education. She has served twelve years, including 3 terms as board president and 3 terms as board vice-president. In addition to her USD 497 board work, Shannon has been an engaged public education advocate at the state and national levels. She is a past president of the Kansas Association of School Boards. Her education advocacy work has extended to service on other statewide and National School Board Association boards and committees. Born and raised in a small farming community in western Kansas, Shannon earned her B.A. from the University of Kansas and her Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School. After a federal appellate clerkship, Shannon worked with public schools as an attorney in private practice and later as an education policy specialist. Shannon and her husband, Jason, have three children-2 current and one USD 497 graduate.


Ariel Miner

My husband and I have four children attending Lawrence Public Schools, and our family is proud to be a part of this inclusive community. I grew up in Tonganoxie and have a social science degree from K-State. Originally, I studied vocal performance at KU. Last year I was a substitute teacher in Lawrence and surrounding districts and saw first hand the challenges students and teachers face in our schools. I’d like to work towards solutions to organizational and budget difficulties that don’t harm this community. The district has lost too many excellent teachers and families due to decisions being made by a few at the top. Public education is extremely important to society as a whole and I would like to do my part to protect it

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About the Contributor
Maya Smith
Maya Smith, Red and Black Co-Editor in Chief

I am a second year editor-in-chief of the Red and Black Yearbook and have been on staff for three years. I am considered a jack of all trades - I take photos, write, design, and do lots and lots of live reporting. When I’m not working on journalism, I’m a part of IPS, Student Council, Unified Sports, Link Crew, and Hang12.

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