Scott Starkey is familiar with the El Dorado School system, having previously served as school resource officer and having children in the school system.
Now he hopes to get involved in a different way, filing for a seat on the USD 490 Board of Education.
“I was born and raised in El Dorado,” he said of why he wanted to run for the BOE. “I attended Skelly, El Dorado Middle School and El Dorado High school, Butler and continued to live here even when I went to Friends University.
“The community has been awful good to me for my short 41 years of life.”
Now he hopes to be able to help others.
“In my first job working for the city, one of the reasons why I got into law enforcement was to help people,” he said.
He served with the El Dorado Police Department for 12 years and was an SRO from 1998 to 2004, being the first SRO for the school district.
“School safety was something I spent my time as an SRO focusing on,” he continued. “Now that I am out of law enforcement, I feel it’s (serving on the BOE) a way to give back to the community and the school district that served me so well. My main concern is getting El Dorado back on top.”
He said when he was in school El Dorado was viewed as the predominate district in the county, something he wants to see again.
“I like to think all the right people are on the bus, and I think I could help by driving the bus,” he said.
One of the issues that would be important to him as a board of education member would be to promote school safety and mitigate hazards.
“To help ensure we are doing everything that is feasibly possible to maintain a safe environment for our students to learn and our teachers to teach,” he said.
Another thing that is important to him is communication between schools, faculty and parents. He believes this should be a priority.
“Open lines of communication helps keep everyone on the same page and eliminate improper perceptions,” Starkey said. “It’s important for parents and teachers to share that information to make sure everyone is on the same page for kids and to allow everyone to work better to serve those kids.”
Accountability also is at the top of his list.
“I think the district needs to be accountable for maintaining a transparent budget,” he said. “Money is tight across the state and nobody wants to pay more taxes. “I’m not saying they’re not doing a good job now, but I want to maintain a streamlined budget.”
Page 2 of 2 - He also said teachers need to be held accountable for teaching youth and parents need to be held accountable for parenting.
He agrees with the adage “it takes a village to raise a child.”
“We have great teachers, faculty and staff,” Starkey said. “If I didn’t think the citizens in El Dorado weren’t quality, I wouldn’t live here and raise my family here.”
He also wants to be involved with USD 490 because of his pride for the district.
“I was born and raised here and I couldn’t imagine wearing any other colors than red and black,” he said. “I’m a Wildcat through and through. You go to other towns, especially smaller communities and you see them flying their mascot flags in businesses downtown and the Friday night football game is where everybody is at. We’re getting top notch facilities and I think the right people are in the right places as far as the coaching staff and teachers, and you just need to get that community support. I want to help promote that in the community.”
Starkey has served on several boards, including as secretary for the Kansas Association of SROs for two years, three years as president and two years as past president; on the Camp Butler 2000 board; on the El Dorado Community Coalition Committee; and on the state Multi-Disciplinary Team for Schools. He is currently a lieutenant on the Butler County Rescue Squad, for which he attends officer meetings every month. Starke also serves on the NWTF Augusta Chapter and Bluestem Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, as well as having been in the 2003 Leadership Butler class.
Starkey earned his bachelor’s degree in organizational management and leadership from Friends University. He now works at PK Safety, where he has been for three years and is the operations chief, running technical rescue crews in industrial facilities across the country.
He has four children: a daughter who is a junior at EHS, twin boys at EMS and a fifth grade son at Skelly Elementary.