2023 BV SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION CENTER
2023 ENDORSED CANDIDATES
Serving on the Blue Valley Board of Education and as Board president has been an honor. As the District navigates in this new funding and learning environment, now is not the time for more changes on the Board or for inexperience. As we move forward, educational excellence, safety, early childhood development, mental health, community engagement, partnerships, and fiscal responsibility are critical. We need someone who understands school funding, the operations of a large school district, the Kansas legislature, and how important quality education is to the community, the local economy, and Blue Valley voters.
I have established professional relationships with parents, staff, patrons, and board members to keep the district moving forward without disruption. My proven leadership, professionalism, insight, and trusted experience are needed as a respected voice for your schools and kids. I bring my state budget, education funding, and operations knowledge and experience to continue building upon Blue Valley schools' excellent education programs so your children will continue to have the best education.
Jodie Dietz is the incoming School Board President and is seeking her second term in the South area. She is a bridge-builder on the Board and believes our community is stronger together.
Jodie has been a resident of Blue Valley for over 25 years. She and her husband, Shawn, have three children, two of whom graduated from Blue Valley schools, with one still in the district. Dietz has worked for Johnson County as a probation officer, with experience in supporting people dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues. Due to her background, she has the knowledge and an intense interest regarding the safety and security of our students and staff. Dietz is the Coordinator for the Collaboration Center at Johnson County Community College, serves on the Friends of the Library Board, where she advocates for improved literacy, and is a member of the FrameworkOP advisory team.
Jan considers education the greatest asset of the state of Kansas and of the Blue Valley area specifically. Three generations of his family have worked as teachers, and his roots in Blue Valley go back four decades.
Jan Kessinger currently serves on the Blue Valley School Board. He served as State Representative, representing parts of Leawood and Overland Park, from 2017 - 2021. After time in the legislature, he was a special projects manager for the Kansas Department of Commerce.
Jan and his wife, Jeanne, have lived in the Blue Valley School District for the past 39 years. Each of their three daughters graduated from Blue Valley North, a granddaughter graduated from Blue Valley Northwest, and a grandson will be a junior at Blue Valley Northwest. Additionally, Jan’s middle daughter is a teacher at Blue Valley High School.
As president of Henderson Kessinger Consulting (HKC), Jan worked with companies in the United States and internationally to create jobs and sales. He has spoken at conferences across the United States, Canada, Central Europe, and Central America.
Prior to forming HKC, Jan was Sales Director for the leading business publication for the fresh fruit and vegetable industry. At Vance Publishing in 1984, Jan was named founding publisher of ProNet, the cutting-edge online service for the fresh produce industry.
Jan is a member of the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, where he is a volunteer Congregational Connection and Care Minister. He also serves on the Church of the Resurrection Board of Trustees, served on Church Council, is a small group leader, and has taught adult education there. Jan has been active in developing the missions program and missions training at the church and served on a mission trip to South Africa, where the team worked with teachers in a school and repaired the teacher’s homes.
Jan earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas, where he also served on the Student Senate and worked for the University Daily Kansan while working in retail to pay his way through school. During college, he interned in Washington, DC, for Senator Bob Dole. Following up on graduate studies in business at Pepperdine University in California, Jan completed his MBA at the Helzberg School of Management, Rockhurst University.
In addition to his current volunteer involvements, Jan has been appointed to different state boards by Republican and Democratic governors. He has served on the Kansas Gaming and Racing Commission and the Governor's Council on Travel and Tourism, as well as the Kansas State Use Committee. He also was a member of the Johnson County Education Research Triangle (JCERT) Board of Directors. Jan has also served as part of the National Intra-agency Workgroup on Youth and the Judicial System, working to help transitional-aged young people (18-24) stay out of incarceration.
As a State Representative, Jan held more than 50 town hall meetings and has the highest lifetime score of any Johnson County legislator on the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce Legislative scorecard.
Clay is the Chair of the Blue Valley Recreation Commission, an attorney, and the BV West Father’s Club Chair. As a dad to nine kids, he is committed to advancing and improving upon the tradition of educational excellence in the BV School District.
Clay has been active in Blue Valley Schools for nearly 25 years. He and his wife, Dr. Sherri Martin, a pediatrician, have sent all of their nine children to BV schools. They are working to maintain and grow our top-tier schools so their kids may return to Blue Valley and raise their own kids here.
As the current Chairman of the Blue Valley Recreation Commission, Clay has the experience that will lead to a smooth transition onto the school board. As a commissioner, Clay oversaw the construction of the Blue Valley Rec Center at Hilltop and continues to oversee its operation, as well as the BVRC Sports Complex and the BVRC Activity Center. Blue Valley Rec serves thousands of patrons daily with hundreds of classes, leagues, programs, and wellness programs for all ages. A recent professional survey found that Blue Valley Rec has a 97% approval rating!
Clay also loves coaching. After 12 years, he retired his whistle and focused his energy on founding and chairing the Blue Valley West Chapter of the Father’s Club. You can still see Clay active in the schools, whether it’s the 3rd Quarter Hot Dog Toss into the student section at football games, school-assembly appearances, the semi-annual FistBumps4Food, teacher-appreciation events, or working collaboratively with faculty, staff, and other parents to achieve more positive outcomes for kids.
In the wider community, Clay has been a long-time servant leader. He chaired both the Board of Trustees and the Church Council at Church of the Resurrection. He was elected and served as the 80th President of the Lawyers Association of Kansas City. And he is a 2008 graduate of Leadership Overland Park.
Professionally, Clay practiced law with Shook, Hardy & Bacon for 18 years and currently owns his own law practice. Sherri and Clay live in south Overland Park with their dog (Simba) and any number of their nine children at any given time.
Clay is seeking the open at-large position (Position 7) in the November 7, 2023 election.
BOARD MEMBER QUALIFICATIONS
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