WHERE I COME FROM
I grew up in the small, Kansas town of St. John. It was there that I learned the importance of community, and was instilled with a sense of duty to improve the world around me through hard work and sacrifice. In a small community, you realize just how reliant we are upon one another, and the part we each play in building a society that is welcoming, prosperous, and just.
It’s that sense of responsibility to community that brought me to Topeka to study political science at Washburn University. And it was only with the support of the people here in my new home that I was able to be the first person from my family to graduate from a four year university with my bachelors and then masters degree. Now, twenty years on, I’m still here, with my wife, three young daughters, and our two dogs. And I retain that sense of pride in my community, that I believe is hardwired into every Kansan. I continue to hold steadfast in a faith that if we work together we can make each tomorrow better than the day before.
It is that sense of duty that has pushed me to join the race for Kansas Senate. Kansas is weathering one of the greatest moments of political, economic, and social upheaval and opportunity in our history. The decisions made by our legislature in the coming years will set us down a path that our children, and our childrens’ children will live with for generations to come. Will we rise to the occasion and choose to emulate those great generations that committed to the small measure of sacrifice necessary to ensure the long-term health and happiness of all Kansans, or will we take a different course, and allow a small few to mortgage away our environment, infrastructure, and people so that they can continue to live beyond their means, on borrowed time?
I will put in the hard work. I will fight for a future in which healthcare is accessible for every Kansan, quality childcare and preschool is available to all families, workers are guaranteed a competitive living wage, and a robust network of wrap around supports will ensure that when our neighbor falls down, we are there to help them get back up again.
EXPERIENCE THAT MATTERS
Dean has supported educators and students for the last eight years as a member of the Special Education and Title Services team at the Kansas State Department of Education. He is a recipient of the Kansas Association of Special Education Administrators' "Kids First Award" and serves on the Kansas Council for Developmental Disabilities.
He supports early education and the local economy as an officer on the board of directors for TDC Early Learning Centers, a non-profit early-learning organization dedicated to meeting the needs of kids from all backgrounds, aged birth through five years old.
Dean is vice president and president-elect of the National Association of Elementary and Secondary Education Act State Program Administrators (NAESPA), where he works to support educators, and expand education opportunities for historically marginalized students in schools throughout the nation.
He is a director on the board of Association of Educational Federal Finance Administrators (AEFFA), a national organization that works to align strong fiscal oversight with successful educational outcomes for all children, and he serves on the expert review panel Center for IDEA Fiscal Reporting and is a frequent presenter at state and national education conferences.
Dean holds both Bachelors of Political Science, and Master of Liberal Studies degrees from Washburn University.