1. Why did you decide to apply for the open position on the Bismarck School Board?
First, I want to thank Mr. (Scott) Halvorson for his tireless service on behalf of the students and families in BPS, and I hope to fill out his term in the same fashion. With four kids coming through the district, and through conversations with other parents, I thought this was a good next step in my involvement in BPS. Continued growth and changing demographics are leading to some challenges and opportunities for BPS, and I would like to be involved in leading us through these times.
2. What separates you from the other candidates?
I don’t personally know the other candidates, so it is hard to compare myself to them. Having grown up in Bismarck, and then living out of state for 20 years, has given me exposure and experiences with BPS and other school districts. My interest in the education system has grown through participating in Simle’s PAC, serving on two facilities planning committees and attending several innovative education workshops. It has been eye-opening to see the needs of the schools that are different than the ones my children attend. I can tell you that I will work hard to represent the needs of the students and schools throughout the district.
3. If selected, what would your priorities be for the district over the next 10 months?
My first priority will be getting up to speed with the other board members, and understanding what the board’s priorities are for this next school year. I have appreciated the opportunity to be involved in the facilities planning discussions and the diversity of opinions of those that were involved. Having seen these discussions work, I would like to see the board continue further discussions focused on the future growth of Bismarck and the aging infrastructure of the school buildings.
4. Do you plan to run for a term after this 10-month period?
I am undecided at this point, but I am considering it.
5. What are the main issues facing the school district right now?
Growth in enrollment, limited growth in revenue that isn’t keeping up with enrollment, equity of resources within the schools and the schools themselves and the unbalanced location of school capacity compared to growth areas.
6. What is one thing the Bismarck School Board does well? What is one thing you think it could improve?
The Bismarck School Board does a good job of working with administration, staff and the community to provide excellent learning opportunities for all students in Bismarck. They have also done a good job of soliciting input from committees representing a diverse mix of the various schools and the community, but I feel that we could improve the communication between the committees, the board and the community.