Often talented educators also distinguish themselves as public servants. This is true of Duane Pomeroy, a high school social studies teacher and tennis coach who served for a time as the acting mayor of his home town of Topeka in Shawnee County, Kansas. Duane is pictured here on the left, following a tennis match.
Duane was born in Topeka on January 1, 1952, and was raised there. His father, Elwaine Pomeroy, served sixteen years as a Kansas state senator. Duane graduated from Topeka High School in 1970. After his high school graduation, Duane enrolled at Washburn University in Topeka. There he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science in 1978 and his teaching certificate in 1979. Interestingly, while he was working on his degrees, he served on the Topeka Unified School District 501 Board of Education for four years, from 1977 to 1981. Interestingly, Duane also served as an alternate delegate to Republican National Convention from Kansas in 1972.
Long after his service on the Board of Education, Duane accepted a position at Topeka High School where he taught government and social studies. He also served as the head coach for both the school’s tennis team and the bowling team.
Duane became a member of the Topeka City Council in January, 1993, when he was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Vic Miller when Miller was elected to the Shawnee County Commission. Duane also served as the Deputy Mayor under Mayor Butch Felker. From November, 2003, to January, 2004, he served as the acting mayor when the mayor became involved in a scandal and was forced to resign. His weeks as the interim mayor were eventful. Besides overseeing the application process for appointing a new mayor, he made approximately 40 appointments and reappointments to city boards and commissions. He also handled recommendations related to streamlining expenses related to the city’s fire department.
On a personal note, Duane married Deborah Briggs, and the couple have two grown sons, Shane and Troy.