Board of Education

board of education

Hutchinson Public Schools is governed by a seven-member Board of Education. Current members are listed below with their initial year of service.

Back Row:

  • Gleysha Mendez-Rosario (2024)

  • Tad Dower (2024)

  • Darcie Canfield-Riggs (2023)

  • Lance Patterson, Vice President (2016)

  • Laura Corey, President (2022)

Front Row:

  • Cheryl Thompson (2022)

  • Valarie Gibson-Smith (2024)

Board Meetings

Regular meetings of the Board are on the second and fourth Monday of the month at 6 p.m. in the Administration Center, 1520 N. Plum. Meetings may be moved to district schools from time to time.

Board agendas are available on the Friday before the Board meeting at

Minutes for each meeting can be found on the agenda for the meeting immediately following.

District Mission/Vision/Core Values

Approved by Board on August 28th, 2023

Mission: Educating and empowering every Salthawk for life. Vision: Today's Students prepared for tomorrow's world. Core Values: Innovation, Compassion, Integrity, Perserverance.

Operating Norms of the Board of Education

Adopted by the USD 308 Board of Education on Dec. 8, 2003

  • First and greatest concern is for students, their learning and their welfare Be courteous to each other

  • Express personal opinions, but once the Board has acted accept the will of the majority

  • Keep the confidentiality of privileged information, especially in executive session

  • Be responsible for establishing policy and hold the superintendent accountable for seeing that the policies are administered

  • Make no promises or commitments on behalf of the Board. Be proactive, rather than reactive. Make decisions using deliberate process - receiving information, discussion, dialogue and action

  • Everyone should have a fair chance to discuss what is on his/her mind

Meet the Board

Laura Corey

Laura Corey - Board President

Term Expires:
January 2026

Laura Corey has been living in Hutchinson since 2005; she began serving as a USD 308 Board of Education Member in 2022. Laura is a Licensed Specialized Clinical Social Worker and provides counseling services to individuals, families, and couples in her private practice.  In Laura’s spare time, she loves spending time in the outdoors with family, listening to audiobooks, and walking their dog.

Laura has previously served the Hutchinson Community by being a member of the following boards: YMCA, Reno County Health Department, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. She believes USD 308 is a pillar of our community that provides world-class opportunities in an integrated, supportive, and collaborative culture while preparing students and staff to reach their highest potential.  What she loves about serving on the USD 308 Board of Education is the people. Laura sees USD 308 as a thread of the community connecting us all.  “Once a Salthawk, always a Salthawk!”

Lance Patterson

Lance Patterson, Board Vice President

Term Expires:
January 2024

Lance Patterson has been serving on the USD 308 Board of Education since 2015. In addition to being a board member, Lance has also served in the roles of Board President and Vice-President.  Lance works in the non-profit youth development career field and has been mentoring youth through the Boys and Girls Club of Hutchinson since 2004, the same year he became a Hutchinson resident.  In September 2022, Lance became the Chief Professional Officer of Boys & Girls Club of Hutchinson. His hobbies are attending K-State football games, golfing, and spending time with family.

Lance’s vision is for USD 308 to be an integral part of the community. He believes that by connecting the larger community to the school community, we will create a sense of belonging for our students and a sense of responsibility for our community to ensure students can be successful.  Lance believes serving on the school board provides him the opportunity to play a small role in the success of future generations through the opportunities that public education provides.

Tad Dower Headshot

Tad Dower

Term Expires:
January 2028

Tad Dower was elected to the USD 308 Board of Education in 2023. He is a practicing attorney in Hutchinson and currently serves as Municipal Court Judge for Hutchinson Municipal Court. He and his wife have raised four children in the district and attributes their success to their education at USD 308. A Hutchinson resident for 37 years, he is passionate about giving back to his community and has previously served on boards for the Educational Facility Authority,  Salvation Army, Cancer Council of Reno County, and Hutchinson Area Student Health Services. He has served as both an elder and a deacon for 1st Presbyterian Church in Hutchinson. He has previously served two terms on the BOE, 2013-2021, and held the position of President and Vice President.

Tad’s vision for USD 308 is to provide outstanding educational opportunities for our students that prepare them well for the education/career path they choose. He believes that USD 308 contributes significantly to making Hutchinson a place where families want to live, work, and raise their children.

Gleysha Mendez-Rosario

Gleysha Mendez-Rosario

Term Expires:
January 2028

Gleysha Mendez-Rosario is a Senior Branch Manager for Heartland Credit Union. She is a certified financial counselor who is known for superior service and maximizing operational excellence, while growing financial wellness within our area. Gleysha is bilingual and enjoys supporting those in our Spanish-speaking community. She is a proud mother of a current Salthawk student, together they enjoy cooking, bike rides and spending their free time with each other. 

She is passionate about public education and investing in the next generation of leaders. She feels strongly about social and emotional learning initiatives and has been a steadfast supporter for mental health resources for our students. Gleysha also serves on the Hutchinson Human Relations Commission, where she advocates for eliminating and preventing prejudice and discrimination in our community.

Cheryl Thompson

Cheryl Thompson

Term Expires:
January 2026

Cheryl Thompson has been serving on the USD 308 Board of Education since 2022 and a Hutchinson resident since 1992.  Cheryl has spent her career working in HR management, the medical field, and is a retired Registered Nurse. Her hobbies are swimming and gardening.

Her vision for USD 308 is to create a culture where academics take a primary focus, achievement scores soar, and district enrollment increases.  Cheryl is honored to serve on the USD 308 Board of Education, where she can represent her constituents.  She enjoys being a voice for the public and being able to serve with such remarkable and dedicated school board members. Cheryl believes foremost that we must make it a priority for all children to find success and reach their fullest potential.

Darcie Canfield-Riggs

Darcie Canfield-Riggs

Term Expires:
January 2026

Darcie has served on the USD 308 Board of Education since 2023 and a been Hutchinson resident since 1996. She has spent much of her career at Hutchinson Public Library, where she currently serves as Youth Services Librarian. She holds a masters degree in library science. She is an avid reader and enjoys spending time with her family.

She has a passion for community service, bringing years of community involvement through organizations such as Leadership Reno County, Young Professionals of Reno County, Reno County Democratic Party having served as Precinct Committee Person, USD 308/ Rise Up Reno school-based mentor and volunteer, and Girl Scouts as a Troop Leader. Darcie believes that in order for the Hutchinson community to thrive, we need to give our students the best education and experiences possible so that they may continue to enhance our community with leadership, innovation, and compassion. 

Valarie Gibson-Smith

Valarie Gibson-Smith

Term Expires:
January 2026

Valarie has been a resident of Reno County her entire life and has been serving on the USD 308 Board of Education since 2017.  Valarie is the co-owner of Hayden’s & Co. Salon; she has worked in the cosmetology industry since 1995 and has been a local small business owner since 2014.  Valarie enjoys spending time with her daughter and supporting her at school events, and she also enjoys supporting the downtown community and other small businesses.

Valarie has previously served on the committee that produced The Salty Dawg Festival, which helped raise funds to build and support the Hutchinson Animal Shelter.  Additionally, she has participated in USD 308 budget focus groups and previously served as the PTO Treasurer for Graber Elementary. Valarie’s vision for Hutchison schools is to continue toward innovative educational endeavors where each student receives the best education for his or her individual needs.  Valarie is proud to serve on the Board of Education; she believes that by doing what is right for students will help our schools, staff, families, and community thrive.