The Gardner Edgerton National Education Association (GENEA) is an organization which believes all children should have the opportunity to succeed in the best education environment possible.  Members of the organization also believe the environment for educators should be one which encourages, nurtures, and produces professional success as well as person growth.  It is this purpose that motivates the organization to fully engage in the educational decision-making process at the national, state, and local levels.
There has never been a more critical time to be involved in all aspects of education.  Challenges such as; school security, school finance, implementation of Common Core Standards, to the current Kansas Legislation’s lack of support for public education; these very reasons led the GENEA to become an active participant in the upcoming Board of Education candidate race.
GENEA is proud of the educational professionals in the Gardner Edgerton School District.  Together, all USD 231 educators have worked extremely hard to guide our students toward tremendous academic levels that only few Kansas schools have attained.
“We have dedicated Board of Education and Administration who have provided the resources and support that have enabled USD 231 students to achieve unparalleled academic results,” states Gina Zimmerman, President of GENEA.  “We need candidates who will actively listen and are willing to make decisions that are best for teachers, students, and the district as a whole.  We want candidates that know issues school districts are facing and can contribute in a positive way.”
Recently, GENEA invited the following Board of Education (BOE) candidates to be interviewed by a panel of GENEA members: District 1; Shelta Collins and Mary Nelson, District 2; Brett Limer, Joel Riggs, and Rob Shippy, District 3; Brad Chandler, Patty Fabing, and Duane Waldman.  (Candidates Shelta Collins and Brad Chandler declined an interview with GENEA.)
After lengthy discussion of goals and priorities; knowledge of issues affecting public education; priority of the education of the USD 231 students; and sense of accountability to the USD 231 educators and Gardner community in which they will serve; the interview team made the following recommendations:
Mary Nelson- District 1
Joel Riggs- District 2
Patty Fabing- District 3
GENEA President, Gina Zimmerman states, “We encourage all voters who value strong public schools in their communities to support the following candidates for the USD 231 Board of Education.”
The recommendation process used by GENEA consists of candidates answering a series of questions in an interview setting.  The questions asked addressed public education, USD 231, leadership, and the responsibilities associated with being a USD 231 Board of Education member.
If you would like more information about this topic, or set up an interview with Gina Zimmerman, please contact Mrs. Zimmerman at or 856-3543.