USD 450 Board of Education
The seven-member board is comprised of two members from each of three districts and one at-large member. Members are elected for a four-year term which begins in January of even-numbered years.
Current Board Members:
President, Eric Deitcher
Term: July 2011 – December 2019
“I was born and raised in Topeka and graduated from Topeka West High School in 1984. I graduated from Washburn University with a degree in Criminal Justice in 1990, the same year I married my wife, Tiffany. I work for the Federal Highway Administration as a Transportation Specialist for the Kansas Division. Tiffany and I have two boys, Zach and Mason of which Zach graduated from Shawnee Heights in 2017 and Mason is currently a 7th grader in the Shawnee Heights Middle School.
We moved into the Shawnee Heights School District in 2000, and once our oldest son entered school at Berryton Elementary, I decided to get involved with their PTO. Serving in many rolls, I eventually became their PTO President. While serving as the Berryton PTO representative to the District Advisory Council, I felt the need to serve in a capacity that would help the entire Shawnee Heights District, so I decided to run for the open school board position. I enjoy serving on a Board that continues to work together to provide the best educational opportunities for our students and the needed tools for our District employees.”
Vice President, Rocky Busenitz
Term: July 2015 – December 2019
“I’m a 1994 graduate of Shawnee Heights High School and attended both Tecumseh North and Shawnee Heights Elementary schools. I’m a graduate of both Washburn University and Baker University and have been working in the IT field for over 23 years. My wife, Jenessa, and I have a daughter Aubrey (Class of 2015), and 4 sons: Chase (Class of 2018), Orrin, Parker, Quinn. We knew we wanted to raise our family in Shawnee Heights schools because of the excellent educational and extracurricular opportunities and a strong sense of caring demonstrated by the teachers within the district.
While serving on the Shawnee Heights Site Council and the District Advisory Council, I saw many of the needs within the district. I decided I could help serve those needs by running for an open school board position. I strongly believe in providing students and teachers the tools they need to be successful. I believe that pairing technology in the classroom with our excellent teachers is a tool for success and student achievement. I'm also passionate about efficiently improving facilities so we can provide more and better academic and athletic opportunities for all of our students. Shawnee Heights has an excellent reputation, and I plan to keep providing students and teachers the tools they need so they can excel in school and their careers.”
Term: January 2018 – December 2022
“I grew up in Topeka and attended Our Lady of Guadalupe Elementary School and then Topeka High. I then pursued two degrees at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs where I majored in Sociology and Communications with an emphasis in media management. After the birth of my oldest son, Sage, we moved to Santa Maria, California where I was a stay at home mom for a number of years after having my other three children, Luke, Hope, and Faith. In 2005, after a lot of research, we moved to the Shawnee Heights district when I determined this was the best district for my family. I have not been disappointed. I have been involved in the district since moving back home. I have served as Secretary, PTO President twice, PTO VP twice, Carnival Chair for 10 years and Site Council at SHES. I have served on Site Council at SHMS and High School for 9 years, and I helped start the SHHS Boy's Swim Team and the SHMS Dance Team. I also served on the board for the SHHS Boy's Soccer Team. I love being a part of the Shawnee Heights family.
I serve on the Shawnee Heights Public Schools Board of Education because I have always wanted to give back to the district in a greater capacity. I have always wanted to make a difference, to learn and listen to patrons in our district, and to provide excellent educational opportunities for our students and continued support for the best teachers in our state.”
Term: January 2018 – December 2022
“I am a fifth generation Berryton/Shawnee Heights area resident. My family moved here around 1854. My grandfather (John C. '26) graduated from Berryton High School as well as both of my parents (John '54 and Linda '60). I am an alum of Berryton Grade School and a 1980 graduate of Shawnee Heights High School. I participated in 4-H, band, choir, theater, debate, dance team, basketball, and track while attending Shawnee Heights schools. I grew up on a farm in the Richland area now considered Berryton where we had row crops and raised hogs. I graduated from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business majoring in Accounting in 1984. My husband and I spent 4 years in Arizona while he was in the regular Air Force at Luke Air Force Base. We came back to Berryton to educate our children in this district. My husband took a job with 190th Air Refueling Wing where he is retired and now works for the VA hospital system. I studied Elementary Education at Washburn in the late 1990s and then began working for the Kansas Legislature in 2002. While there I have worked for senators, representatives, and chairman of both the senate and house of representatives. Currently, I work for the legislature interviewing, hiring, placing and training the legislative session assistants and committee assistants. I help them traverse, and problem solve during session to make the process as smooth as we can for the legislators. During that time I also received my Masters in Business Administration from Baker University in 2011. I have two children who are also Shawnee Heights graduates Leshia 2004 and Drew 2009. Both were Putnam Scholars to K-State and candidates for the Kassebaum scholarship. That success has so much to do with the fundamental education they received here at Shawnee Heights. They both have gone on to continue their studies: Leshia in public health and Drew in Opera.
In my family of origin, public education has always been a goal for each generation. As a family, we strive to help the next generation improve on their education. The reason why I serve on the board in the area I call home is because education is one of the highest pursuits one can strive for and I hope to help contribute to this community that has meant so much to my family. I also believe teaching is one of the highest callings an individual can be called to pursue. My goal is to always keep in mind the students, teachers, and community as we as the board are prudent in the expenditures of public funds. I appreciate that the community has put their trust in me to help make these decisions."
Position: At Large
Term: January 2020 – December 2023
Term: January 2018 – December 2022
"I am from Louisburg, Kansas and I am one of five siblings. I graduated from Louisburg High School in 1996 then to Johnson County Community College where I graduated with two associates degrees, one as a sign language interpreter. Although I've held a job since I was 14, I began my adult life working at Elmont Elementary school in the Seamen School District as a sign language interpreter in 2001. I continued working for Seaman until our son came along in 2005. His arrival compelled me to be a stay-at-home mom. It turns out mom's don't get to stay home. While I’ve ‘stayed home’ I’ve served on the Heights of Learning Board, the Tecumseh North PTO, Tecumseh North Site Council, District Advisory Council, Shawnee Heights Public Schools Foundation, and now the Shawnee Heights School Board.
For years, I thought it was my husband's calling to run for school board, but I realized it was actually mine. Education is always evolving, and I am proud to be a part of the collaborative effort to keep Shawnee Heights moving in the right direction. Our district strives to make every student successful in their own way, and it's important to me to keep that momentum. It's an honor to serve for the teachers, students, and the patrons of Shawnee Heights."
Lauren Tice Miller
Term: July 2015 – December 2019
“I am a graduate of Shawnee Heights and was raised in a family where education was not only a passion; it was a priority. I have always believed that there is no such thing as too good or too much when it comes to education. This remains true today.
The quality of education I received from Shawnee Heights prepared me for success at Kansas State University where I earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Communication Studies and a Certificate in Technical Writing. I’ve also recently become a Certified Digital Marketing Leader from the Digital Marketing Institute, an internationally recognized program.
I’m currently the Communications Director for Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley. In all, I have more than 10 years of experience in the communication field, including teaching public speaking and English Composition at the collegiate level, serving as the Assistant Basic Course Director for public speaking, working in communication, marketing, and event planning roles for non-profit associations, and owning my own business.
I was elected in April 2015 as the 7th woman in the history of the district to serve on the school board. In addition to serving on the Shawnee Heights School Board, I serve on the advisory board for the graphics technology program at Washburn Technical Institute and the Board of Directors for Community Action, Inc.
My husband, Matt and I, have three children - James (6th grade), Arianna (3 years old), and Adeline (infant).
I moved back to the school district after college, knowing it was where I wanted to raise my family. After getting involved in Cub Scouts, PTO, and my son's classroom, I decided I wanted to do more for the district.
It is an honor to serve as a school board member. I work to ensure Shawnee Heights provides – as it has done for years – the quality of education that is essential to creating well-rounded students who are prepared for a world of opportunities. This includes working to recruit and retain quality teachers, increasing communications between the district and patrons, and increasing academic rigor for students while also practicing fiscal responsibility.”