Dave Colburn said 16 years serving on the Manhattan-Ogden School Board was enough for him.
Colburn did not file for re-election, which means his term will end this January. At the end of his term, he will become the second-longest serving board member in the district’s history, just a year shy of the record.
“We did a lot, we’ve done a lot. I’ve helped hire two superintendents and been through a mascot battle. It’s been quite a ride and it was truly an honor to get to work with the teachers and administrators in this district,” he said.
Colburn started on the board in July 2003. He said he was inspired to run the first time when there was talk of shutting down Bluemont Elementary and Eugene Field Early Learning Center because the district was losing students.
“I didn’t like the plan on how they would move the Bluemont students and the Eugene Field students, so I came up with an alternate plan of where to move the kids that was adopted before I was even on the board,” he said. “That’s when I got the bright idea that I might be of some help and I decided to run.”
He said he’s seen a lot throughout his 16 years, like almost closing Theodore Roosevelt Elementary because of lack of students, but ultimately not because the Big Red One returned to Fort Riley, as well as crafting and passing the 2008 and 2018 bond issues.
Colburn said when he was elected he had two daughters in school and one about to start. Each time he ran again, he was thinking of his children.
“When it came time to run for a second term, I looked down the road and I could hand my oldest a diploma at high school graduation, and that was pretty compelling,” he said. “Then the same thing the second and third time, I could see my second graduating in a couple years, I thought the same thing. It’s a brief moment to hand your child their diploma, but a proud one. All three times it was a factor.”
Each time he was going to run again, the family would sit for a meeting and everybody got a vote. He said he didn’t want it to affect his children in school.
“Every time, they said I should stay on the board,” Colburn said. “Now they’re all out and I think even if I wanted to, they wouldn’t get a say this time.”
There were moments of difficulty, he said, but overall he enjoyed the experience.
“Sometimes, when a situation got sticky, you think ‘Why am I doing this?’ But you get through it and see the great things that come from it and it’s worth it,” he said.
Colburn said he will probably stay involved to some extent with the district, but on “not such a demanding level.”
“Redistricting will be big when it comes around again after the new school is built,” he said. “I didn’t always find it an enjoyable process, but I may volunteer.”