By VICTORIA CALDERON
• Leader & Times
Stewart Cauble was chosen Monday night to fill the board seat vacated by Tammy Sutherland-Abbott by the USD No. 480 Board of Education at it regular meeting.
Cauble, who likes to be called Stew for short, was born and raised right here in Liberal. He went through the USD 480 school district to obtain his education, and he graduated from the high school in 1997.
After moving away to attend college, where he majored in business with a minor in psychology, Cauble returned to Liberal. He came back to pursue a career at Seaboard Foods, where he is the Workers Compensation Claims Manager. That was four years ago, and he has been here ever since.
“I grew up in the district, I moved away, and now I’ve been involved,” Cauble said. “I recognized some of the opportunities the school district has, and I want to be part of that growth.”
Past connections to the school district are not the only way Cauble is invested in its success. His wife is a first grade teacher at Washington Elementary School. His connection within the school system may provide a beneficial point of view to the board.
“It may be a different perspective, her having the opportunity to know what goes on in the school system,” he noted. “I do bring a business approach. We may not always see eye to eye on certain issues, but it will definitely be an asset to have someone directly involved in the district.”
Becoming a member of the school board isn’t the first time Cauble has been involved with it. He was a member of the group that worked on the bond project.
Cauble stays involved in other aspects of the Liberal community as well. He enjoys leadership opportunities across town and he is active in his church, First United Methodist.
With a background in insurance and business management, Cauble believes he can make beneficial contributions to the board.
“I think my willingness to listen and be open, the common sense approach, progressive thinking and fiscal responsibility will benefit the board,” he said.
Cauble has great hopes for his time on the board.
“I want to focus on the students by developing career ready students that are ready for the workplace or to pursue college or education after that,” he commented.
Cauble also looks forward to the opportunities and challenges the board has to offer.
“We’ve passed the bond issue, and I think how we present that to the community is very important... to make sure we keep the community involved, make sure they feel like they have a say in the school system,” he said. “I think it is a great time in the school system, and a great time for the community for development and growth.”
When asked why he decided to jump on board, Cauble responded, “It’s a great opportunity to be involved. Again, it’s important to continue to strengthen the education system that we have and the education opportunities available.”
Cauble will finish out Sutherland-Abbott’s unexpired term, then has the option to run for the board again when that term is up.