Three candidates vie for open seat on Seaford School Board

By Lynn R. Parks

Three candidates are running for one seat on the Seaford School Board. The election on Tuesday, May 12 will determine who will take the seat being vacated by current school board member Richard Kingree. Kingree, who is finishing up his first five-year term, is not running for reelection. Kathryn Kimpton, 49, said that serving on the school board is a continuation of her years of service to the school district. "I have been on every leadership committee there is and this is the next step in serving the community," she said. Kimpton and her husband, Steve, have four children, two of whom, Dana, 24, and Eric, 20 are graduates from Seaford High School. Kelly, 17, will graduate from Seaford High this year. Alex, 11, is a student at Frederick Douglass Elementary School and next year is slated to go to the Sussex Academy for Arts and Sciences, a public charter school near Georgetown. The decision to send Alex to the charter school was extremely difficult, Kimpton said. Both she and her husband have long been strong advocates of the Seaford School District. "The best place for Alex right now is the charter school," Kimpton said. "But she will be back at Seaford High School in three years and I want to work to make it better. I want to make it so that Seaford schools are the first choice for people." Kimpton said that a disconnect has developed between the school district and the community. "Our schools affect everything – our property values, who we get to work at the hospital, the quality of life in our community," she said. "I want to work to bring the community and the schools back together again. We need increased community involvement in our schools." She also wants to work to ensure that all children in the school district are challenged to the best of their abilities, something that she feels is not done now. Kimpton believes that in the next five years, during the school board term for which she is running, superintendent Russell Knorr will retire. "There will be a leadership change and I would like to be a part of making that decision about who is our next superintendent," she said. Kimpton grew up in Indianola, Iowa, and graduated from Indianola High School in 1977. She obtained a bachelor's degree in food science from Iowa State University in 1981. In Seaford, she has served on the leadership committees on the elementary, middle and high school levels, as well as on principal's advisory committees and the superintendent's advisory committee. She has held several PTO offices and has been active with athletic boosters and band boosters.

"I'm here to work for the betterment of public schools," she said. "I have the time and energy to devote to it. And better schools is a legacy that I would like to leave to the community." Like Kimpton, Richard "Ricky" Williams would like to see increased community support for the schools. He also believes that the current recession and state budget cuts will be hard on schools. "We have to learn to work harder with less, and we have to make every dollar count," he said. When teachers are asking children to provide some of their own supplies, "We have to ask: Where is all the money going?" he said. At the same time that schools are struggling to save money, they also have to ensure that teachers are happy and that classrooms are pleasant learning environments, he said. "It's a fine line that we have to walk," he added. Williams, 37, attended schools in the Seaford and Woodbridge districts and graduated from high school as a home-schooled student. He attended Delaware Technical and Community College, studying engineering. He has his own irrigation business, R&L Irrigation Services. He and his wife, Donna, have two children, Levin, 9, and Emily, 6, both of whom are students at Frederick Douglass Elementary School. Douglas Collins, 38, said that serving on the school board is his "calling." "I'm not the person who likes to sit on the sidelines and complain and wonder why," he said. "I want to get involved." Collins and his wife, Jolene, have two children, Delaney, 7, a student at Frederick Douglass, and Joel, 3. Collins is a coach with the Nanticoke Youth Soccer Association. "We plan on having our children in the Seaford School District throughout their public educations and this is the perfect opportunity for me to get involved," he said. "I am young, I am willing to learn and I am excited about the position. I could see myself doing this for a long time." Collins said that he does not see many problems in the Seaford School District, other than students' dress. "The dress code is not enforced all that much and I would like to see it enforced more," he said. A native of Federalsburg, Md., Collins graduated from Seaford High School in 1988. He owns a contracting company, D.E. Collins and Co.

For your information The Seaford School Board election is Tuesday, May 12. Residents of the district can cast ballots from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the district office, 390 N. Market St. Ext., Seaford. For details, call the district office, 629-4587, or the Department of Elections for Sussex County, 856-5367.

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