Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Oct. 29, 2001

Lester Prairie school board candidates

Here are interviews with the candidates for Lester Prairie School Board election Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Only two people have filed for three available positions, so at least one will be determined by write-in votes.


Fred Blaser

Why are you running for office?

I feel that we have to plan for the future. Where we go from here is not only important to the school and students, but the whole community.

What do you think are two major issues at this time and what do you propose to do about them?

Keeping the school and our education system the best we can. We have to plan for the future, but we also must make sure that we do not forget the present.

We must think of our options, but we must be sure not to be pressured by people who want to do something without looking at all the facts.

Why should you be elected?

I have been a member of our community for over 27 years ­ not only living in the community, but also working in it. I have had two sons in the Lester Prairie School. I feel that I reflect the wishes of the majority of the members of our community.

We are a community that takes great pride in our school and the educational opportunities that we provide our students. We have many students who have graduated from Lester Prairie School district that have gone on to be doctors, lawyers, and many other professionals. I think we can continue this great tradition of turning out great students, as we take time to plan for the future.


Chester W. Hoernemann

Why are you running for office?

In my profession, I have noticed that there is a correlation between the lack of caring teachers, good educational opportunities, parent participation, and young people who have gotten in trouble with drugs and alcohol, gangs, and the legal system. In most cases the kids fell through the crack during junior high.

The common thread seems to be the failure to maintain an interest in their education, lack of support by teachers and parents, and in some cases, apathy by the school administrators. I feel that I can continue to influence our administration to remain focused on the success of all students as individuals and individuals as students.

Kicking problem students out on the street generally causes problems for the entire community. I feel that currently our administrators explore every avenue to keep a student in school, in spite of the work and paper work involved.

As a therapist, I see this as the most important time in a young person's life to get them to become productive members of our society. I am pleased that the administrators of Independent School District 424 believe in and follow this policy.

Recent studies have taken on the belief of the 70s, 80s, and early 90s that "Bigger is Better" for American schools. The studies agree that it is more expensive to educate on a per student basis, but this is offset by the much higher graduation rate of small schools. Proving again that small schools contribute to the community by a much wider margin.

What do you think are two major issues at this time and what do you propose to do about them?

The first and foremost issue is to maintain an accountable and viable financial structure to continue to provide our students with the best possible educational opportunities this community is willing to provide.

The second issue is to keep the administrators, teachers, and staff focused on all students, in order to keep the challenged without being overwhelmed. And to maintain an atmosphere where every student, from the marginal student be able to graduate, and where all students can hope to complete college, graduate schools, and beyond, if they choose.

Why should I be elected?

I should be elected, and I would only want to be elected, if the majority of the parents and citizens of Independent School District 424 agree with my stand on the future. Continuing to deliver a quality education to the young people of this community with a continuing above-average graduation rate. If the majority of the community disagrees with my stand, then I will gladly step aside.


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