Mark Hansen will not seek reelection for Collierville Schools board

By , Daily Memphian Published: August 12, 2020 10:09 AM CT

Mark Hansen, instrumental in forming Collierville’s school district, won’t seek another term on the district’s school board in November.

<strong>Mark Hansen</strong>

Mark Hansen

Hansen, who is finishing his second term on the Collierville Schools board, said he will not pull a petition for the Nov. 3 election.

“It is a very bittersweet and slightly melancholy feeling I have about not being on the school board anymore,” he said. “I guess that reflects how much I’ve enjoyed it.” 

Hansen, 66, was elected twice before serving a day in the role. He was first elected in 2012 before a judge ruled the election and referendums to create the suburban districts void. He was elected again in 2013.

“When I ran in 2013, I said I am not going to make a career of this,” Hansen said. “I said then I just wanted to make sure we got the doors open and our system had a firm foundation to stand on. I feel like we’ve done that and more. So much more.”

Hansen was part of early discussions about the suburban district. His time on board included construction of Collierville High School, which allowed Schilling Farms Elementary and West Collierville Middle School to open in support of growth in the district. Additionally, he helped hire Superintendent Gary Lilly when former Superintendent John Aitken retired.

“The citizens of Collierville owe him thanks and gratitude for formative years and the transition to new superintendent,” Aitken said.

Hansen had served as a board attorney is East Tennessee, so he was familiar with municipal school districts, Aitken said. 

“He led with such a steady hand,” Aitken added. “He loves the town. He loves the school system He’s been there since the talk of starting a school district.”

Aitken especially admires the “trust” Hansen displayed.

“It’s hard to quantify the trust Mark placed in me as superintendent and staff,” Aitken said.

State Rep. Kevin Vaughan, a former school board member, said Hansen “embodies the meaning of public servant.”

“From the original days of our formation of the district, Mark never once played politics when addressing problems or decisions,” Vaughan said. “He simply asked one question and that was always 'what’s the right thing to do for our students?’”

Vaughan said Hansen’s approach to the role was “ministry-like” rather then treating it as an elective position.

“He felt called to be there,” Vaughan said. “Our town owes him a great debt of gratitude for all the hours that he has invested in our future generations.”

In the early days, the board accomplished a lot and had very few split votes.

“We got a lot done and most of it was by acclamation,” Hansen said.

Although some board members rolled off and others were elected or appointed, they still strive to be unified.

“When you have that on a board, it makes for very rewarding and fulfilling service,” he said.

Hansen enjoys students coming to show their achievements in board meetings.

“I feel like I got to play an important part of that, and that’s very fulfilling,” he said.

Hansen also said he is thankful for the way the Board of Mayor and Aldermen trusted and supported Collierville Schools.

Hansen retired from FedEx in 2019. With the extra time, he hopes to enjoy retirement and travel with his wife when it’s safe to do so again.

“There are things I want to do that include extended absences. I don’t think it’d be fair for me as chairman,” said Hansen, who rarely missed a meeting.

Although he knows he will miss the district, he knows there is a good foundation and wants to continue to support the schools.

“Collierville schools is a quality organization,” he said.

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Mark Hansen Collierville Collierville Board of Education 2020 municipal elections Education

Abigail Warren

Abigail Warren is a lifelong resident of Shelby County and a graduate of the University of Memphis. She has worked for several local publications and covers the suburbs for The Daily Memphian.


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