"Yesterday, Heather Ousley called me to talk. She called as a courtesy, one candidate to another, to let me know she would be filing to run against me for the at-large position. I listened to what Heather had to say, to her platform, and her reasons for filing. Heather wished me luck and said she looked forward to having a public conversation on policy and school administration with me. But I had to refuse. I cannot, in good conscience, oppose a better candidate simply because I happened to file for office first.
The fact of the matter is, I am a public education advocate because of Heather Ousley. Back in 2012 my wife and I saw a TV news story about a mother from Merriam who cared so much about her children’s education, that she was willing to walk sixty miles to Topeka to raise awareness about cuts to school funding. When I saw that news story about Heather, and heard what she had to say, all I could do was agree with her values and her actions. I was inspired. My wife Beth and I met her for the first time in Merriam, the morning of the last day of her journey. She was so sore by then, and her feet were so swollen from three hard days of walking, that she could not get out of her husband Jarrod’s truck by herself – Jarrod had to physically help her out of the truck, and in fact carry her part of the way. For me it was a watershed experience: that was the moment in which I became an education advocate.
You see, I’d long been concerned about public education in Kansas, through supreme court decisions and legislative budget wrangling. I already agreed with Heather in principle. What Heather showed in the early hours of that dark morning more than five years ago, was that those of us who are able, have a moral obligation to fight for those of us who are not able, even if it’s very, very, hard.
With that in mind, I have chosen to suspend my campaign, withdrawal from the at-large race, and give my unreserved endorsement to the candidacy of Heather Ousley."
Brian Koon, Former Opponent and Former Lobbyist for Kansas Families for Education
- National Education Assocation - Shawnee Mission (only candidate endorsed by NEA-SM)
- Education First Shawnee Mission
- Network For Public Education (only candidate endorsed by NPE)
- Equality Kansas (only candidate endorsed by EQ)
- Kansas Advancing Women
- Greater Kansas City Women's Political Caucus (only candidate endorsed by GKCWPC)
- Tri-County Labor Council (only candidate endorsed by TCL)
Recipient of: 2015 KNEA Friend of Education Award
2014 NEA-SM Appreciation Award
2015, 2016, 2017, Recognized by BATs for work to support Public Education
- Marla Kilfoyle
- Dr. Yohuru Williams
- Dr. Steven Case, author of Kansas Science Standards returning evolution to the curriculum.
- Arcie Rothrock, Mission City Councilwoman, Parent of SMSD Student
- Jori Nelson, Prairie Village City Councilwoman
- Robin Ludwig, Retired, Thirty-Year SMSD Educator
- Jayne Dey, Retired, Thirty-Year SMSD Educator
- Laura Klement Robeson, Former SMSD Educator, Parent of SMSD Student
- Laura Fisher, Former SMSD Educator, Parent of SMSD Student
- Kate Miner, Former SMSD Educator, Parent of SMSD Student
- Janet Reynolds, SMSD Graduate, Parent and Grandparent of SMSD Students
- Chris Crawford, SMSD Graduate 1994, Parent of SMSD Student