After nearly 3 decades of serving the students, staff, and the community of the Brownstown Community Unit School District #201, Kent Kistler steps away from the Board.
Following his last official vote as a member of the Board, Kistler recalled the first major issue he tackled as a Board member all those years ago. "There was a new law passed that stated we could no longer transport students who lived within 1.5 miles of the school. " He recalled feeling that, on the surface, this new law was not the right thing for some in the community, especially those who lived north of the railroad tracks and along route 40. He went on to tell the story of how he and the rest of the Board at the time, had to navigate the uncertainty of the new law to discover that there was language in the law that made exceptions to the "1.5 mile rule" for families who lived in Hazard Zones, like across a railroad track or a major highway. "After that, we were able to continue to transport the students who lived in the hazard areas to ensure that they could get to school safely."
Since then Kent has been a part of many important and challenging decisions that have helped guide the Brownstown schools to where it is today. He was President of the Board during the construction and dedication of the 2000 Wing of Brownstown Elementary School, helped guide the District through difficult financial periods, then through the pandemic, and most recently has been part of many improvements such as the re-launching of the Brownstown Ag and FFA programs, and a great many facility upgrades.
Kent has served the Brownstown community well over the years, but his service did not stop at the District's borders. He has been active in the Illinois Association of School Boards, serving as the Board's delegate to the Kaskaskia Region of the IASB, where he was the Resolutions Committee chairperson. He also represented the Brownstown School District, as well as the Kaskaskia Region, at the state level on the IASB Resolutions committee. His work in the IASB has earned him recognition as a Master Board Member in the statewide organization. He served on the Mid-State Special Education Cooperative's Board of Governors, and represented the District on the Brownstown CUSD 201 Foundation Board.
Through his work across three decades of service, Kent Kistler has helped improve the educational experiences and lives of thousands of Brownstown students, tens of thousands of students in south-central Illinois, and millions of students statewide.
All of us here at Brownstown Schools thank Kent Kistler for his many years of service to the school district and wish him the best in his new endeavors.