election logo 2020

KEARNEY — Expiring in April are three, three-year terms on the Kearney School Board currently held by Dan Holloway, Matthew Hunt and Dan Weakley. Holloway will be joined by Brian Hamm, Bree Switzer and Chris Shipley on the April 7 ballot. To help educate voters on where candidates stand on issues, all candidates received questionnaires from the Courier-Tribune asking for biographical data and answers to questions about issues facing the school district. Each candidate was allotted 50 words per response. Answers longer than 50 words have been edited with an ellipses (…) for fairness to all candidates. Answers are printed in the order they were received. In your opinion, what is the role of a school board in relation to education of students? Hamm: “The school board is a regulatory and guiding body for the district as a whole. It is their responsibility to create — through positive working relationships with administrators, teachers, staff and parents — the most ideal learning environment possible for the student body.” Holloway: “School boards may be small and local, but they represent, perhaps, the most important daily civic commitment we as U.S. citizens make to our communities: our children and our future. Above all, it’s the community support and a great board working together to improve public education. Together, we are community.” Switzer: “To help ensure that every child has the tools through curriculum options that fit their needs to move forward to be a productive member of society.” Shipley: “To help educators lead in the direction of the future growth of the school.” What will be your top priority for the three-year term, if elected? Hamm: “My top priority during my three-year term will be to look for ways to improve communication from the top — the board — to those in the classroom. The larger a district becomes, the more difficult communication becomes. The teachers are one of our most valuable resources and cannot be forgotten.” Holloway: “Continue KSD’s incredible strides in our community while working together to improve many things we already have; to provide guidance/input to our new superintendent for short- and long-term financial and facility management; continue to have an enriching, learning and teaching environment for all our families in our community.” Switzer: “Student achievement and excellence in education is always the top priority. Attracting and maintaining quality educators facilitates this goal. (Another goal is) Understanding and keeping pace with the district growth by continuing to review, update and expand facilities as needed.” Shipley: “My top priority will be to understand the finances on hand and how to keep on pace with keeping teachers salaries high to prevent turnover and retain the great teachers we have.” Does the district do enough to prepare students for in-demand careers for the 21st century? If not, how would you work to change this, if elected? Hamm: “As our world changes before us, the types of careers in demand are changing. I feel that through programs such as Northland Caps, career days and community mentorship, the district is trying to expose students to and match them with meaningful careers.” Holloway: “Currently, we are somewhat fortunate to have growth that many school districts don’t and the right resources to provide innovative career curriculum/programs that teach in-demand skills. It is also career readiness equipping students with the skills, training and connections they need, not just occupation, for an immediate successful career. ...” Switzer: “I have been able in the last year to learn more about these programs. I do believe that Kearney is moving on the right path to prepare and give students different opportunities to fit their needs for the future.” Shipley: “I m not sure we can ever do enough to prepare students for life. As changes with life, business and economy, it becomes a moving target year after year. We need to continue to monitor the skill set and help give training to exit them to real-world items.” For the future, how does the Kearney district position itself to ensure the needs of the whole student are met? Hamm: “The board has to position itself in a way that it provides stability yet allows flexibility to be inclusive of all students. The student body is more diverse now than it’s ever been. We have to find a way to ensure a quality and fair educational experience to every student.” Holloway: “Good foundation at home is the start, (then) Parents As Teachers and early learning programs. Our students have to be prepared to be successful today and tomorrow. We must think about educational/work development issues in a much more holistic way, increasing workforce participation and career readiness education more broadly together.” Switzer: “I believe this is an area that is constantly changing. Kearney is taking steps in the right direction by listening to the students and parents to find out what the needs are and if they are being met.” Shipley: “Investing in the best teachers and giving them the tools for their toolbox to do their jobs.” Does the district adequately keep district families and stakeholders informed? If not, what would you work to change as a board member? Hamm: “I personally feel that I am adequately informed about my children as I receive communication by email, voice and text from both teachers and administrators. There will always be incidents where hindsight will tell us that we should have been more forthcoming or transparent as a district.” Holloway: “Kearney R-1 School District continuously looks at ways for improvement and being agile enough to recognize the ever-changing needs of our stakeholders. We experience first-hand that this is both a wonderful community and (that it) is growing. Surveys and feedback help in these opportunities for continued growth while maintaining our infrastructure. ...” Switzer: “I think the district does, for the most part, a good job. Like any other business or organization, you have to constantly evaluate how and when to disseminate information.” Shipley: “I think they do a good job of keeping everyone informed. I would like to look into this more to see what changes could be made, if any.”

Dan Holloway4c43f7e2-5c02-11ea-80c0-2fb9554c1d092stock_ksd_holloway_danmycouriertribune.com0

Bree Switzere89316be-5c02-11ea-b2cc-33e0e5c73dae2stock_ksd_switzer_breemycouriertribune.com0

KEARNEY — Expiring in April are three, three-year terms on the Kearney School Board currently held by Dan Holloway, Matthew Hunt and Dan Weakley. Holloway will be joined by Brian Hamm, Bree Switzer and Chris Shipley on the April 7 ballot.

To help educate voters on where candidates stand on issues, all candidates received questionnaires from the Courier-Tribune asking for biographical data and answers to questions about issues facing the school district.

Each candidate was allotted 50 words per response. Answers longer than 50 words have been edited with an ellipses (…) for fairness to all candidates. Answers are printed in the order they were received.

In your opinion, what is the role of a school board in relation to education of students?

Hamm: “The school board is a regulatory and guiding body for the district as a whole. It is their responsibility to create — through positive working relationships with administrators, teachers, staff and parents — the most ideal learning environment possible for the student body.”

Holloway: “School boards may be small and local, but they represent, perhaps, the most important daily civic commitment we as U.S. citizens make to our communities: our children and our future. Above all, it’s the community support and a great board working together to improve public education. Together, we are community.”

Switzer: “To help ensure that every child has the tools through curriculum options that fit their needs to move forward to be a productive member of society.”

Shipley: “To help educators lead in the direction of the future growth of the school.”

What will be your top priority for the three-year term, if elected?

Hamm: “My top priority during my three-year term will be to look for ways to improve communication from the top — the board — to those in the classroom. The larger a district becomes, the more difficult communication becomes. The teachers are one of our most valuable resources and cannot be forgotten.”

Holloway: “Continue KSD’s incredible strides in our community while working together to improve many things we already have; to provide guidance/input to our new superintendent for short- and long-term financial and facility management; continue to have an enriching, learning and teaching environment for all our families in our community.”

Switzer: “Student achievement and excellence in education is always the top priority. Attracting and maintaining quality educators facilitates this goal. (Another goal is) Understanding and keeping pace with the district growth by continuing to review, update and expand facilities as needed.”

Shipley: “My top priority will be to understand the finances on hand and how to keep on pace with keeping teachers salaries high to prevent turnover and retain the great teachers we have.”

Does the district do enough to prepare students for in-demand careers for the 21st century? If not, how would you work to change this, if elected?

Hamm: “As our world changes before us, the types of careers in demand are changing. I feel that through programs such as Northland Caps, career days and community mentorship, the district is trying to expose students to and match them with meaningful careers.”

Holloway: “Currently, we are somewhat fortunate to have growth that many school districts don’t and the right resources to provide innovative career curriculum/programs that teach in-demand skills. It is also career readiness equipping students with the skills, training and connections they need, not just occupation, for an immediate successful career. ...”

Switzer: “I have been able in the last year to learn more about these programs. I do believe that Kearney is moving on the right path to prepare and give students different opportunities to fit their needs for the future.”

Shipley: “I m not sure we can ever do enough to prepare students for life. As changes with life, business and economy, it becomes a moving target year after year. We need to continue to monitor the skill set and help give training to exit them to real-world items.”

For the future, how does the Kearney district position itself to ensure the needs of the whole student are met?

Hamm: “The board has to position itself in a way that it provides stability yet allows flexibility to be inclusive of all students. The student body is more diverse now than it’s ever been. We have to find a way to ensure a quality and fair educational experience to every student.”

Holloway: “Good foundation at home is the start, (then) Parents As Teachers and early learning programs. Our students have to be prepared to be successful today and tomorrow. We must think about educational/work development issues in a much more holistic way, increasing workforce participation and career readiness education more broadly together.”

Switzer: “I believe this is an area that is constantly changing. Kearney is taking steps in the right direction by listening to the students and parents to find out what the needs are and if they are being met.”

Shipley: “Investing in the best teachers and giving them the tools for their toolbox to do their jobs.”

Does the district adequately keep district families and stakeholders informed? If not, what would you work to change as a board member?

Hamm: “I personally feel that I am adequately informed about my children as I receive communication by email, voice and text from both teachers and administrators. There will always be incidents where hindsight will tell us that we should have been more forthcoming or transparent as a district.”

Holloway: “Kearney R-1 School District continuously looks at ways for improvement and being agile enough to recognize the ever-changing needs of our stakeholders. We experience first-hand that this is both a wonderful community and (that it) is growing. Surveys and feedback help in these opportunities for continued growth while maintaining our infrastructure. ...”

Switzer: “I think the district does, for the most part, a good job. Like any other business or organization, you have to constantly evaluate how and when to disseminate information.”

Shipley: “I think they do a good job of keeping everyone informed. I would like to look into this more to see what changes could be made, if any.”

Managing Editor Amanda Lubinski can be reached at amanda.lubinski@mycouriertribune.com or 903-6001.

Managing Editor Amanda Lubinski can be reached at amanda.lubinski@mycouriertribune.com or 903-6001.

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