Seven candidates for board of education

Seven candidates are running for two at-large seats on the Haakon School District 27-1 Board of Education. The election will be Tuesday, April 14. Five questions have been given to the candidates. Their answers will be printed in successive issues of the Pioneer Review.

Question #4. What do you suggest for more student, parent and general public involvement in school board concerns?

Michelle Butler: "As with any concerns, it is vital that you go to the source first. One could alleviate much headache for everyone involved if the problems were addressed with the parties involved first hand. It is important to not feel threatened by those in charge and to be able to voice your concerns to them and try to come up with a way to fix it before the problem escalates. Be an active part of your community, not reactive, no matter what organization you are a part of. Everyone's voice is heard and dealt with if taken thru the proper chain of command. I want to be a positive influence to the school board, students and staff of Haakon School District."

R. Mark Radway: "I've always felt that the school board has had an open door policy. If a student, parent or anyone has an issue concerning the school district, then they should bring that issue to the school board. Attending school board meetings, and communication between board members, students, parents and staff, is one way to get more involved. Another way to get more involved would be to run for the school board. In summary, I would say that involvement in the school board from students, parents and the general public is voluntary and that I support it."

Mark Nelson: "I would like to see an active Parent Teacher Association chapter in the Philip area again. I would like to see a place on the school's website for public comments and concerns. Finally, I feel that school board members must be accessible to the public; this is why I didn't run for this office while I was trucking."

Tonya Jo Berry: "This is a hard question to answer. I do feel that everyone, including parents, teachers, and the general public, specifically the taxpayers in our county, should be involved in and made aware of school board concerns. Each of us as individuals needs to be involved in our schools. Talk to the kids, talk to the teachers and administration, talk to the school board members and tell them what concerns you have. I myself, as one person, do not have the time or the knowledge to make the day to day decisions which need to be made for our district to run smoothly, and I don't think anyone else does either. That's why we elect the school board members, to make those decisions for us. So often I think we only get involved when there is a problem, not when everything is going well. The most important thing is for open discussion on everything, good or bad. That is something we can all do."

Kelly Blair: "People will get involved when they feel that a decision or an event has impacted them personally. When things are going smoothly, as they are now, the public seems to want their elected officials and the administration to manage things. When there is a problem, they will get involved, unfortunately it is often after the fact. There are two good sources of information readily available for the public to stay better informed about board concerns. The school's website, www.philip.k12.sd.us, has information posted about Scottie happenings, board minutes, upcoming board meeting agendas, etc. The second is the Pioneer Review, which always has articles about what is happening within the district. Lastly, just come to a board meeting occasionally and see for yourself what the board is doing. The best answer is that, as individuals, we need to keep ourselves motivated, to be informed and let our concerns be known."

Jodi Kammerer: "I believe that school board members should be kept updated on the happenings at the school. School board members need to remain open minded and educate themselves on the situation at hand."

Lori Quinn: "Any involvement starts with open lines of communication. Families, staff and the community need to feel their concerns are important and their needs are being met. I think involvement needs to start with the parents and the students."