Geary County Schools welcomes new Board of Education members

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. — Geary County Schools on Monday welcomed three newly-elected Board of Education members at their first meeting.

The new members include Dr. Jason Butler, Mark Hatcher, and Dr. Beth Hudson.

Dr. Jason Butler

A graduate of Eisenhower Elementary School, Junction City Middle School, and Junction City High School (Class of 2024), Dr. Butler is no stranger to the Geary County Schools family. From the football field and wrestling mats to the math, science, and fine arts classroom, the teachers at Geary County Schools provided him with a foundation to help him earn a B.S. in Biology from Southwest Baptist University, a Masters of Science in Business Administration from Texas A&M-Texarkana and a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from the University of Pikeville – Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine. Currently, Dr. Butler serves as a family medicine physician at Geary Community Hospital, previously working as the director of medical services at Irwin Army Community Hospital and deploying with the 1st Infantry Division, 2nd Brigade, 299 BSB for nine months to Skwierzyna, Poland as the battalion surgeon during Operation Atlantic Resolve. He and his wife, Casey Butler, have three daughters who all attend Geary County Schools.

As a Board member, Dr. Butler hopes to provide proactive, rather than reactive, leadership by evaluating and improving school lunches, focusing on teacher retention and recruitment, as well as continually working with the local medical community and health department to safely wade through the ever-changing landscape of COVID-19. Above all, Dr. Butler plans to listen to the concerns of students who are progressing the grades, while consistently collaborating with the teachers who are countlessly prepping, teaching, and mentoring students.

Mark Hatcher

Mark Hatcher has been the lead pastor of Junction City Church of Nazarene since October of 2017, previously supporting Franklin Elementary School and now Washington Elementary School through the church. Previously, Hatcher pastored at a church in Southwest City, Missouri, before returning to his home state of Kansas. He and his wife, Amy, have been married for 23 years and have four children, all of which are graduates of Geary County Schools or current Geary County Schools students. Hatcher has been involved in many community events and organizations, including Hometown Christmas, Walk-Thru Bethlehem, Junction City Area Chamber of Commerce, House of Hope, and Fresh Start Homeless Shelter. In his time here, Hatcher has fallen in love with Junction City, the military community at Fort Riley, and all that Geary County has to offer.

As a Board member, Hatcher hopes to help restore morale among teachers, paraprofessionals, and staff by helping to cultivate a culture where they know they are valued, respected, listened to, and fully supported. He wishes to be a voice for the students, teachers, staff, and taxpayers of the community. Furthermore, he plans to help support and champion policies and values that will give families confidence that their role as the primary stakeholder in their children’s education will be strengthened.

Dr. Beth Hudson

Dr. Hudson has fulfilled many roles in Geary County Schools during her 40 years in the community, beginning as a bookkeeper at the Junction City High School. Once finishing her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in December of 1985, she started as a first-grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School and taught there for six years. Dr. Hudson then taught first grade at Ware Elementary School and Eisenhower Elementary School, eventually returning to Ware as an assistant principal. Following four years at Ware, she began as the director of elementary education for the district, serving in the position for 17 years. Dr. Hudson then served as the associate superintendent for six years, serving as interim superintendent on three separate occasions. In addition to her career, Dr. Hudson and her husband have served on local boards and volunteered at their church, the Dorothy Bramlage Library, and Wheels of Hope.

Dr. Hudson chose to return to Geary County Schools as a Board member in hope of helping strengthen the district’s legacy as a leader in education, ensuring relationships across the district are built on mutual trust and respect. She hopes to serve the district, which she grew to love very much throughout her career, as a strong team of Board members to do what is best for the students.

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