A third candidate has filed for the Hays USD 489 school board.
Lori Ann Hertel joins Luke Oborny and Tammy Wellbrock in running for one of the four at-large seats up for grabs in the November general election.
Hertel is a licensed clinical marriage and family therapist in practice at Serenity Psychological Service and Consulting, 1010 Downing Ave.
She has a bachelor of arts in sociology and a master of science in resource counseling from Fort Hays State University, and is completing her doctorate in health psychology.
Hertel was one of four who applied to fill a seat opened by a resignation on the school board in 2017, but this is her first time running for the position.
“I like the idea of serving on a board that I can make good decisions about children and collaborating with a really good staff and administrators,” she told The Hays Daily News on Thursday.
She has been involved in several boards in the community, including Big Brothers Big Sisters and Court Appointed Special Advocates.
She was instrumental in starting the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Ellis County, which she did in memory of her daughter, Ana, who died at 17 in 2010.
Ana had multiple pterygium syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affected her muscles and joints, and she and Lori started Ana’s Gift, an organization that collects stuffed animals to donate to hospitals and law enforcement to help comfort children.
Through Ana, Hertel said she became familiar with USD 489’s special education services. She and her husband, Stan, also have a son, Daniel, who attended USD 489 schools.
Hertel also worked as a prevention specialist in the district at the middle-school level, working with teachers on programs such as crisis intervention.
“It gave me a perspective of the school district that I didn’t know before. I feel like that was very helpful in making my decision” to run, she said.
“I think we have a really great district here in Hays in USD 489, and I would be honored to be associated with that district on the level of the school board,” she said.