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Equity Champion, Tireless Advocate


I have lived in Lawrence since 1978. My parents moved to Lawrence to access the school systems. My mother wanted to go back to school to continue her education.

I attended Lawrence public schools K-12. I have an associate’s degree from Haskell Indian Nations University I hold two degrees from the University of Kansas- a degree in political science and a Master’s degree in Social Welfare with a specialization in clinical social work practice.

My husband, Dennis, and I are “high school sweethearts.” We have three children, ages 26, 18 and 15. My parents instilled a legacy of the importance of getting an education. Lawrence public schools, Haskell Indian Nations University and the University of Kansas have all provided me with a stronger commitment to improve the quality of life for all Lawrencians and beyond. As a parent, I have always encouraged my children to do their best and ask for help.

It has been an adventure raising and supporting them in their endeavors whether it’s football, bowling, arts, orchestra, tennis, foreign language clubs, inter-tribal club, and advocacy work at the local and state level. My children have come to understand what it means to advocate and address issues of social inequity by watching me advocate for change in our community.

I will continue to fight and advocate for and on behalf of the 10,000+ students and future generations. I am proud to have grown up and raise my family in Lawrence. Lawrence is well-known for its progressiveness and diversity. We are beneficiaries of living in a well-educated community and celebrate diversity and support arts and culture. In the past few years, I’ve experienced firsthand how working together produces real results to improve our schools and communities at the local, state and federal level.

I advocated for the re-dedication of Billy Mills Middle School which reflects the city’s Native American heritage and culture. My daughters and I advocated successfully for the passage HB 2498, or the “Regalia Bill.” The Regalia Bill now prohibits governmental entities from prohibiting the wearing of tribal regalia and objects of cultural significance at public events, such as graduation ceremonies. Kansas was the third state to pass such a law. I was able to meet with our United States Senator’s Native American advisor to discuss proposed budget cuts for our Native American students within Lawrence public schools and Haskell Indian Nations University.

Lastly, I want to share how I will approach decisions on the school board. I will use my skills, experience, and enthusiasm to fulfill our country’s promise of quality public schools for all students at every level. Our children are our greatest most precious resource and must be supported to achieve their dreams, improve outcomes and achieve their full potential. It will be imperative to support our teachers and continue to create a safe environment.

My clinical social work background will guide my work on improving equity for all students, including our LGBTQ+2S students as well as our immigrant students. I will advocate and continually seek and implement new ideas to help our community can overcome the systemic challenges that have created inexcusable achievement gaps across the district. I pledge to work with my fellow Board Members to improve outcomes for all children so each of them can flourish, ultimately creating a stronger community for all.

I am looking forward to serving the Lawrence community as a school board member. I have taken the oath of office as a civil service employee and honor the social worker’s Code of Ethics and live by the Girl Scout’s Promise. I promise to make the world a better place. I love our district and am a long-time member of the Lawrence community. I hope to earn your support on November 5th.


Why I'm Running

Improving Equity By Eliminating Disparity

A rising tide lifts all boats. I will work to eliminate the lingering disparities that exist within our district. Though 65 years have passed since Brown v. Board of Education, disparities continue to disproportionately affect students of color. Every child deserves a high-quality education and the right to dream, achieve, and succeed. I am ready, willing, and able to make this a reality for our students.

Safe and Productive Learning Environments

Social-emotional learning, respect, and safety are as important as literacy skills and test scores. Research shows that students need to feel both physically and emotionally safe in order to learn. I’ll work to ensure students in Lawrence Public Schools are safe from discrimination and harassment. I’ll advocate for policies and procedures that improve school safety and increase student attendance and participation while working to eliminate racial and disability related disparities in school based discipline.

Implementation of the Five-Year Strategic Plan

As part of the marginalized community, I’m able to identify “blind spots” in delivery and services. I’ve also witnessed an increasing demand for social work services and a need for innovative strategies to better reach the students we serve. I’ll oversee the district’s strategic plan and will work to ensure that teachers have the support they need to close the achievement gaps and increase graduation rates, helping all students graduate college or career ready.

Be an Engaged Voter!

Click here to register to vote, change your address, or request an advance ballot

  • Last Day to Register to Vote: Tuesday, October 15, 2019
  • Deadline for Advance Ballots Requests: Tuesday, October 29, 2019
  • Advance Voting Begins: Wednesday, October 16, 2019
  • Advance Voting Ends: Monday, November 4, 2019 at noon
  • VOTE for Carole Cadue-Blackwood on Election Day: Tuesday, November 5!


endorsements ad

I endorse Carole Cadue-Blackwood for election to the Lawrence Board of Education. Carole is a passionate believer in the education of children to the full potential of each child. She is a proven leader, having led the campaign for the naming of Billy Mills Middle School. Her education in social work and her experience in that field will be of great value on the school board.

Austin Turney, Former Lawrence School Board President

I support Carole Cadue-Blackwood for USD 497 School Board. Carole shares many of my values:

  • As a social worker, Carole understands the importance of mental health supports for our youth.
  • She is a dedicated racial and social justice advocate, earning multiple awards for her activism.
  • Carole has a heart of service: she's an active parent volunteer for the school district, and serves the community as a volunteer for Willow Domestic Violence Center.
  • What excites me about Carole as a Board member is that she will put her values into action. She will work hard to ensure that all students in our school district are given every opportunity for success. Carole is a leader we need on the Board for Lawrence Public Schools.
Please join me in voting for Carole Cadue-Blackwood for USD 497 School Board!

Lindsay Buck, LHS SPED teacher & member of LEA

In the 2019 Lawrence School Board Election, I’m voting for Carole Cadue-Blackwood. Carole’s graduate school education and professional background are rooted in social justice, but Carole’s sense of right and wrong proceed that training. Upon meeting her, you know immediately that the essence of who Carole is compels her to stand up for equitable board policy and classroom funding. She has a well-established record of service and advocacy for Lawrence Public Schools and the Lawrence community at large. Carole, a citizen of the Kickapoo tribe, is the recipient of the 2018 National Indian Education Parent of the Year Award for her leadership associated with renaming Billy Mills Middle School. Having directly observed Carole’s collaborative grassroots name-change efforts, it’s clear to me that her intellect, thoughtfulness, and compassion would be great assets on the board. It would be an honor to serve with Carole on the Lawrence Board of Education.

Kelly Jones, MSW, School Board Member

Carole Cadue-Blackwood understands when change is needed. USD 497 needs someone who will champion culture, integrity and compassion for all students. She was instrumental in the name-change for Billy Mills Middle School and has gained national recognition for her accomplishments. If an inspired community member was able to bring so much impact to our city - just imagine what she will accomplish as an elected official. Lawrence has one chance to get things right and it starts through the foundation that will educate our children on becoming better, responsible and caring citizens.

Freddy Gipp

Lawrence is one of the most diverse communities in Kansas and this holds many mutual benefits. USD 497 teachers and staff seek to provide the best educational experiences for their students who reflect racial, cultural, and identity differences. The School Board guides them with policies and decisions. I know of no better person to be elected to this Board than Carole Cadue-Blackwood. Her own education in Lawrence schools, Haskell, and KU, and her experience as an involved parent in Lawrence give her an understanding which will enhance her work with the Board.

Carole is deeply committed to quality, inclusive education for all children. Her guiding values can be seen in her tireless work in re-naming South Middle School to Billy Mills Middle School. Native American Billy Mills’ magnificent life achievements and his continuing commitment to guiding young people all began in Lawrence schools, Haskell Indian Nations University, and the University of Kansas. This new school name will continue to inspire students for generations, increase self-esteem, and foster their own achievements. We have much to celebrate!

Carole speaks eloquently and works diligently to remember our histories and to create new educational programs. I encourage you to vote for Carole knowing your vote will enhance the lives of our diverse students.

Larry Fry

I had the pleasure of working with Carole as she led the effort to rename South to Billy Mills Middle School. In her, I saw all the qualities I most admire in natural born leaders: gentleness with strength, ability to plan well, perseverance in working toward a goal, respect for all people, good communication skills, and a positive outlook even during trying times. I cannot imagine a better candidate for the Lawrence School Board. We are most fortunate to have her willingness to serve us in this capacity.

Jolene Andersen, Former Lawrence City Commissioner and Mayor

Carole Cadue-Blackwood will make an excellent school board member due to her passion and desire to support all students in our community. As a grandparent of USD 497 students and parent to graduates of USD 497, I have personally witnessed Carole's impact for the betterment of our community. She is a wonderful example of a servant-leader. Carole has sought to create opportunities for all to have a seat at the table! I, personally, have observed her inclusivity and willingness to foster empowerment to all students, which is why I endorse her as a candidate for school board.

Freda Gipp, Grandparent & Parent – USD 497 students

I am both excited and honored to endorse Carole Cadue-Blackwood. Carole and I first met in early 2017 while working together on a project for The Willow Domestic Violence Center. Carole told me her story, and how her own life struggles ignited her passion for community activism and drive to create a better world for her family and her community. At that time, she was just starting out on what would be a two-year journey to convince the school board and the community of Lawrence to change the name of South to Billy Mills Middle School. She had seen the need for strong Native heros for children and researched the impact that having a school named after a Native athlete would have in terms of graduation rates and feeling empowered throughout their schooling. She felt, after this research, that it was something that was much needed for Lawrence - not just for the native community, but for the community at large. Carole drove the project forward, doing a wonderful job of including people who were interested in helping, gathering support and answering questions; of being open to differing points of view, but always pushing for what she believed was right. Thanks to her work, and the work of those around her, on July 1st, 2018, South was renamed Billy Mills. Carole is passionate about this community, intelligent, compassionate, able to navigate the complexities of working with both city and school governance, and is a parent unafraid to dream and a leader unafraid to demand a better future for all of our district's children. I am proud to be a part of her larger community family.

Will Averill

I recently met with Carole Cadue-Blackwood to discuss her candidacy for Lawrence School Board. I really enjoyed our meeting and could easily sense her passion for being involved in the future of our kids in Lawrence. She has a great background as a Native American raised in Lawrence and educated in Lawrence public schools, Haskell Indian Nations University and the University of Kansas. I heartily endorse her candidacy.

Sandy Praeger, former Kansas Insurance Commissioner, State Senator, and Mayor of Lawrence

It is with great pride that I endorse Carole Cadue-Blackwood for the important job of serving on the Lawrence School Board. This position fits well with the Carole Cadue I met as a student at LHS. I taught and sponsored the Intertribal Club of which Carole was President. The seeds of public service were instilled early by her parents. Even then, she possessed the qualities of one who cared a great deal about others and expected that she could make a difference.

I am amazed, but not surprised, at the resolve and resourcefulness she has shown to raise a wonderful family along with her husband, and obtain several college degrees while persisting in service to our community, state and beyond. She has earned recognition at all levels, but this young woman remains humble and full of grace. I have no doubt Carole will bring her experience and enthusiasm to contribute a great deal to the Board while continuing toward her stated make the world a better place.

Lynn Saunders, Retired Lawrence High School Teacher

Carole Cadue-Blackwood is an integral part of The Willow Domestic Violence Center's advocacy team. She has been a volunteer in our shelter home and has also served as a court advocate for over four years. Her heart for empowering survivors and her savvy as a social worker make her an incredible asset to our team. Carole's boundless generosity with her time and her genuine smile are gifts to our staff and to everyone we serve. Anything she takes on she does with her whole heart and I cannot recommend her strongly enough for a role on our school board.

Megan Green Stuke, Executive Director for The Willow Domestic Violence Center

I endorse Carole Cadue-Blackwood for the Lawrence School Board election without reservation. I met Carole while I was one of her instructors at the University of Kansas Master of Social Work program. Since then, she has been my inspiration and source of belief about the importance of education. As a social work educator, I am most fulfilled when I celebrate students’ successes in their community. Carole has exceeded this expectation; she uses her knowledge, experience, and most importantly, passion to make a difference for her loving communities. Her accomplishment and ongoing efforts have been the true assets to the Lawrence community and beyond. Carole will continue to be a testimony of the power of education – empowering a seed to bloom with their full potential and transforming their strengths to the next generations. Carole’s strengths, passion, and value of diversity would promote the inclusiveness of Lawrence, which I believe would be a great asset to the School Board and the community.

Sadaaki Fukui, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis

As a native Kansan and as one of the leading representatives of the Arts unfolding in this great state, I am excited to support Carol Cadue-Blackwood for this School Board position of leadership. I met Carole in the 80's through a relationship with her father, Tribal Chairman of the Kickapoo Nation, and her mother Karen. We had met when I asked her parents' permission to create an earthwork near Salina of their daughter to promote awareness of the Native populations in Kansas.

My temporary earthwork portrait of Carole began a long relationship with Haskell Indian Nations University and we have all witnessed Carole's energetic and visionary activism in support of, not just Native rights ...but the rights and needs of all students in Kansas. This city would be wise to include her voice and her work ethic in the evolution of Lawrence as one of the leading educational environments in the Midwest.

Stan Herd, Artist

I am so honored to know Carole Cadue-Blackwood and equally honored to endorse her for the upcoming Lawrence School Board elections in November. Carole’s constant advocacy for all students in the Lawrence, Kansas School District is so apparent. Due to her hard work, I was deeply humbled by having a middle school re-dedicated in my name… Billy Mills Middle School. Because of her timeless work on this project, many students of diversity will benefit from knowing a living person of color can have a school named after them.

The Lawrence School Board will benefit greatly from Carole’s energy, intellect, and promise of quality school decisions at every level. The Lawrence School Board, together with Carole as a member, will make Lawrence, Kansas one of the most hospitable and educated cities in America.

I am honored to have known Carole and her family for many years and encourage voters to VOTE for Carole Cadue-Blackwood!

Billy Mills, Oglala Lakota, Haskell Institute Alumni, University of Kansas Alumni,Olympic Champion

Every once in a while a professor meets a truly exceptional of the top in my career as a social work teacher (California State University-Sacramento, University of Kansas, and Ottawa University) is Carole Cadue-Blackwood. She is a powerhouse in the field of education and justice. In addition, in my role as a Pastor of a local church, I am awed by her loving heart, her commitment to truth, and her impeccable integrity. I have never endorsed a candidate for school board, but this time I truly believe Lawrence as a community, will benefit greatly by electing Carole to our school board. I ask you to take the time to read her information and vote for her in November. Thank you! I plan to host a get-together at my home in October to allow an opportunity for folks to meet her. Please consider coming and getting to know Carole too!

Professor Shannah McAleer, PhD & Pastor

We support Carole Cadue-Blackwood for Lawrence school board!! She has already done so much for all students, even us college students. Can’t wait to see all she does for LPS.

The First Nations Student Association at KU

I am happy to endorse Carole Cadue-Blackwood for the USD 497 school board. Carole is a tireless community advocate and was instrumental in the renaming of South Middle School as Billy Mills Middle School. She has been very involved in her children’s schools and she wants to be sure every child in Lawrence, regardless of race or income level, receives an excellent education. I have been impressed with testimony she has presented to a committee I serve on in the state legislature, and I am sure she will bring the same passion and wisdom to her service on the school board.

Representative Boog Highberger

Carol Cadue-Blackwood comes from a family dedicated to public service and civic responsibility. While our student, she was serious about learning and conscientious about taking on the responsibilities required to be successful. As an adult member of the Lawrence community, both her educational achievements and her achievements for education speak clearly of her values and priority on "quality public schools for all students at every level" and from all backgrounds. She lives her belief that, "Our children are our greatest, most precious resource and must be supported to achieve their dreams, improve outcomes and achieve their full potential."

Sandy Sanders & Frank Hoffman, Retired Public School Teachers



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