Courtesy of the Holton Recorder (Vol 52, Issue 75) with edits by Michelle Simon
Two parties residing on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation reservation are running for the position one seat on the Royal Valley Board of Education during the fall election cycle.
Michael Boswell and Jacob “Tug” Wamego are both vying for the vacancy created by longtime board member Jim O’Toole who did not file for re-election. The Royal Valley School Board of Education oversees and manages USD 337’s affairs, personnel and properties. Royal Valley USD 337 is the primary school system for children residing on the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation reservation.
The last day to register to vote in this election is Tuesday, October 15, 2019, with the general election taking place on Tuesday, November 5, 2019. People can register to vote online at www.ksvotes.org, or in person at the Jackson County Courthouse located at 400 New York Avenue in Holton, or with Native Vote board members Jayme Mitchell and Verna Simon at the Prairie Band Health Center, 11400 158 Road, Mayetta. Here is a map of USD voting districts within Jackson County.
Here is a look at each candidate:
Michael Boswell, 50, has worked in law enforcement in and around Jackson County for the past 21 years, including serving as the chief of police for the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation.
“I want to look after the children in our school district and make sure their needs are taken care of while they are completing their education,” said Boswell, “I have five children, and all have gone or are going through Royal Valley School district.”
Boswell graduated from Buckeye High School in Arizona in 1988, and he and his wife, Anna, have five children, Logan, Kacie, Taryn, Madison, and Wyatt.
Jacob “Tug Wamego, 37, a member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and lifelong resident of Jackson County, currently serves as the president and CEO of Prairie Band, LLC.
“USD 337 is a diverse district. Most of the K-12 citizens of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Reservation are students here,” Wamego said. “I have witnessed the tremendous growth within the district over the past 20 years, and our community has been a big part of that growth. The growth has been exciting, and I want to contribute to a continued positive direction for the school district.”
Wamego received a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Washburn University in 2006 and his Juris Doctor degree from The University of Kansas in 2014. In 2016, Wamego earned a master of business administration degree from Friends University.
“I want to be an advocate for all our families and students within the district,” he said. “We have a wonderful school district, and we have made great strides toward inclusion and creating partnerships. I believe in quality public education for all students, but I also appreciate the trust our taxpayers have in elected officials that we will be vigilant on how their dollars are used.”
As a member of the PBP Nation, Wamego said he represents a “diverse community” within the school district.
“I will work to ensure that they have a voice in how our educational and administrative decisions are made,” he said. “I am a licensed attorney and an executive of a growing company. I will bring management, budget, legal and life experience as a member of the school board. I also have a personal interest in seeing the quality of our school system increase. I am an alumnus of Royal Valley High School, and all my kids attend school in the district.” Wamego is a father of three.
“Our community has made tremendous strides toward inclusion and equal opportunity, but I do recognize we still have work to do,” stated Wamego. “I am committed to being accountable to our community and will be an advocate for students, teachers, staff and the families of our district.”