Leader & Times Candidate Q & A
Name: Delvin Kinser.
Bio: I am the news director at Great Plains Christian Radio. I’ve been with the station in Meade for seven years, and have worked in radio news for most of my professional life. Before coming to Liberal, I worked in radio and television news in Oklahoma City where I covered local news and the state capitol. I also spent some time working for the Oklahoma State Senate as a media consultant.
I moved to Liberal in 1998 to join my father, Ollie Kinser, as an associate pastor. I serve as the worship leader at Abundant Life Fellowship in Liberal. I worked for the City of Liberal for nearly a year as economic development director. I also worked for KSCB radio for a few years as a news anchor.
Family: I am married with two children. My wife Rhonda is the director of student support services at Seward County Community College/Area Technical School. My son Mark is 13 and is a seventh grader at West Middle School. My daughter Anna is 12 and attends sixth grade at Cottonwood Intermediate.
Q: What motivated you to run for USD 480 school board?
A: It’s something I have considered in the past, but never felt like the timing was right. I began considering it again after hearing that only one person had filed the week before the deadline. After talking it over with my family and much prayer, I decided to step up and file.
Q: Explain your priorities for the education of children and teens. What areas are most important?
A: As with my own children, I want every student to have the skills they need to open the doors of opportunity in their future. I believe young children need a foundation in reading and language skills, mathematics and science, and an emphasis on critical thinking. Society seems to demand our teens mature faster these days. I don’t believe our education system should pigeon-hole students toward certain careers. I do think they need a strong curriculum that allows them to pursue their own career goals.
Q: Describe your vision for the future of USD 480 and its students.
A: I want our children to have the finest education possible, but that doesn’t mean we can afford to bankrupt the citizens of Liberal to do it. We have to deal with the political and financial realities of our times. We have to educate our children in a smarter and more efficient way. I’m confident we can do it. We’re southwest Kansans who’ve been able to adapt to changing times for decades, and we’ll do it again. My vision for USD 480 is to graduate students equipped with an elementary and secondary education that will make any dream possible.
Q: What challenges do you see in education in our school district? How should these be addressed?
A: The biggest challenge is obviously financial. Our state has done a poor job of managing its finances and that translates into funding challenges for most every school district. Hopefully the recent changes in leadership on the state level will address the way public education is funded and make improvements. In Liberal specifically are many challenges. The cultural and socio-economic diversity in our city can lead to conflict. I believe strong lines of communication between the board, administrators, teachers, and parents can lead us to the answers.
Q: On the other hand, what strong points do you see in USD 480? What’s working well?
A: I believe there are teachers and administrators who have dedicated themselves to the job of educating our children. They know it’s a tough job, and they don’t shirk the responsibilities that come with it. I base this opinion on my personal interaction with the professionals that have taught my children, and for the most part I have found them to be capable, energetic people who love what they do.
Q: Personally, what strengths and relevant experiences would you bring to the board?
A: As a reporter, I’ve spent more than 20 years observing society, culture, and governmental bodies at every level. I believe I understand the issues that face our community. My profession has trained me to approach each issue objectively. I can set aside preconceived ideas in order to make the best decision based on all information available. Early on, my parents instilled in me a set of values that have served me well in life — honesty, determination, and kindness. These, I believe would serve the school board as well. I have children in the school system. I’m invested in the district. If elected, I’ll look at each issue on its own merits with the district’s children in mind.