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Friday, Jul. 26, 2013

Johnson County Community College trustee Melody Rayl resigns

The Kansas City Star

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Less than a month into her second four-year term on the Johnson County Community College board of trustees, Melody Rayl is resigning.

Rayl, whose new term began July 1, said she was leaving to spend more time with her family and her career.

She said that when she ran in April for this term, “I thought I could continue to serve.”

But she said that with three children in high school and work demands, it became increasingly clear that she could no longer give the college the attention she wanted to.

Trustees will consider the resignation at their regular monthly meeting Aug. 15.

Rayl, a lawyer from Olathe, joined the board in 2008 when trustees selected her to fill the unexpired term of Virginia Krebs. Rayl ran for the seat in 2009 and won.

Rayl served as board chairwoman for the 2012-2013 academic year. She also has served on the board’s human resources and audit committees and as the liaison to the JCCC Foundation and the collegial steering committee.

“Melody Rayl has been an outstanding trustee for JCCC,” said board chairman Jerry Cook. “Her leadership was so important during the transitions of the past year. The college, and the board, is grateful for her vision, wisdom and courage.”

The college’s new president, Joseph M. Sopcich, was hired in May to replace Terry Calaway, who retired.

In April, Rayl, who has been a student and a member of the faculty at JCCC, entered a hard-fought election. She and five other candidates were vying for four at-large spots on the board. Four incumbents were running, and one was defeated.

Richard Schroder, one of the losing candidates in that race, said he is not sure he will submit an application to the board, which will appoint someone to fill Rayl’s spot.

“I don’t think I would be appointed anyway,” Schroder said. “I would be a thorn in their side. I would not be a rubber-stamper. If I think something was a waste of money, I would definitely vote against it. I’m a conservative Republican. I would rather trust my lot to the residents of Johnson County than to a six-member board of trustees.”

Trustees resigning before their terms are up is not uncommon, JCCC officials said.

This makes the fourth time since 2004 that new trustees have had to be appointed. The most recent was in December, when David Lindstrom was named to fill the unexpired term of Don Weiss.

JCCC officials said it may be a few weeks before applications are accepted for the post.

Rayl said she won’t be involved in selecting her replacement but added, “I may reach out to some and encourage them to get involved in this process.”

To reach Mará Rose Williams, call 816-234-4419 or send email to mdwilliams@kcstar.com.

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