Prairie View board appoints Parker man to vacant seat
Brian Lueker answers questions posed by members of the Prairie View USD 362 school board on Monday evening. Lueker was appointed by the board to fill a vacant seat on the board. (Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)
LA CYGNE – The Prairie View USD 362 Board of Education on Monday, April 10, selected Brian Lueker of rural Parker to fill a vacant board position representing District 3. The seat became open in February when board member Brad Stainbrook resigned so that he could become assistant coach of the Lady Buffalos softball team.
The unexpired term of District 3 will end in December, so if the appointee planned to remain on the board, he or she would need to file for election on or before June 1.
The school board considered three applicants for the post, including Lueker, former board member Bonnie Hobson of rural La Cygne, and Kurt Schwarz, also of rural La Cygne. The interviews were conducted in a special meeting prior to the regular meeting, however the vote came late in the regular session.
Because the board member seat is considered an elected position, the school board conducted its interviews in open session, asking first about background information and then moving into questions about the necessity of citizen support for the district, what school issues were of concern and whether the candidates intended to run for the District 3 post election in November.
Both Lueker and Schwarz indicated they had given thought to running for the school board. Hobson did not commit to run but also said she would consider it.
When asked about issues they thought needed attention, Hobson said she thought the district was currently running well, and Schwarz said that any issues he encountered had been addressed to board members. And while overall Lueker said he thought district leadership was good and he didn’t have an axe to grind, he was critical about a recent trip to the New Dinner Theater by members of the PVHS National Honor Society.
“It was garbage,” he said about the play, adding that there were parts that were inappropriate and made some students feel uncomfortable.
Board President Wade Teagarden made the motion to appoint Lueker and the board supported the nomination with four votes for Lueker and abstentions by board members Bryan Uphoff and Russell Pope.
Lueker works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and raises cattle and hay on the family farm. He and his wife have five children who attend district schools, including three in Parker Elementary School, and one each in Prairie View middle and high schools.
According to district Superintendent Rex Bollinger, five of the seven board posts are up for election this November. Those seats include District 1, currently held by longtime board member Brad Heide; District 2, currently held by Brian Uphoff; District 3, now held by Lueker; District 4, currently held by Richard Gravelle; and the at-large post held by Russell Pope.
Gravelle, who represents the Linn Valley area, was appointed by the board last year to fill a vacancy in that seat. The election for his seat would be to finish two years of a four-year term.
Lueker will represent District 3, which is represented by the dark blue shaded area. (Prairie View website)