Updated: Mar 18
Maggie Peterson, who is known for her involvement with the Linn Valley community, was appointed earlier this month to represented District 4 on the Prairie View USD 362 Board of education. (Submitted photo)
Last November voters went to the polls to elect city council members, mayors and school board members. All of the city and school posts in the county had candidates file to run, save one.
After the departure of Nicolas Philpott from the Prairie View USD 362 District 4 seat after he moved across county, no one filed to run for the post. The seat, which covers the northeast corner of the Prairie View district, is voted on mostly by residents in Linn Valley.
Robert Suppenbach of Linn Valley won the District 4 seat with seven write-in votes, but he opted to take a seat on the Linn Valley City Council instead.
Intent on filling the post, the school district sought someone to become a board member and opened the position up to anyone who lived in District 4, which also includes residents with rural La Cygne addresses. Only one person stepped up to be interviewed by the school board in an open session.
But the board only needed to interview that person, and later on the evening of Feb. 14, its members voted to appoint Maggie Peterson to the post.
For Peterson, stepping up to represent Linn Valley on the school board was definitely the right thing to do.
“Our community is growing, and we have lots of kids that go to Prairie View,” she said. “I feel that we needed to be properly represented. We needed to have somebody to support us.”
A former insurance agent, who is now a real estate agent for Clinch Realty, Peterson and her husband Mike, who is in commercial insulation sales, moved to Linn Valley six years ago from Lenexa. They have two children, a kindergartener and a second-grader who attend La Cygne Elementary School.
Peterson said that she was very involved in the Linn Valley community and regularly attends city council meetings to keep informed. However, being appointed to the school board was the first time she had taken on that kind of commitment.
A graduate from Shawnee Mission West High School who has taken classes at Johnson County Community College, Peterson said she was surprised that no else stood up to take the District 4 seat.
“It’s a commitment, and not everybody wants to do that,” she said.
She said the one question that stood out from the interview was when school board members asked her whether she had “thick skin.” However, Peterson said she realizes that part of being on the school board sometime requires making tough decisions.
The Kansas Association of School Boards conducts orientation sessions for newly elected school board members, however those session are completed. So she said she would work with Superintendent Rex Bollinger over the next few weeks to learn more about the district and her duties.