Herald Journal - Voters' Guide '08

Seven vie for Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted board

Seven candidates are running for six open positions on the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School Board including incumbents Paul Weibel, Michelle Heuer, and Charlie Weber and newcomers Fred Yerke and Jesse Tintes for four-year terms, and incumbents Dan Schaible and Al Doering for two-year terms. The four-year position currently filled by Jamie Weich is not up for election this year.

Paul Weibel

Why are you running for office?

I want to give back to the school district from which I graduated, as well as try to help bring the three communities together to try to work as one group with the same goals.

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

1. Middle school – help educate the public on what is going on, with the truth.

2. Money – find different ways to change things to save money, like thinking outside the box.

Why should you be elected?

I should be elected because I can give more insight with what I have seen big business do to save money and do a quality job.

How will you ensure that each and every student in the school district has equal access to programs and funding available?

By working with the other board members. As a board member, I am only one vote, but by working with the rest of the members and communities, we can come up with a good solution to any problem that arises.

Michelle Heuer

Why are you running for office?

I believe in being involved in our communities. A strong school system (both public and parochial) is important for our communities.

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

1. Measuring student success. Student success can sometimes be difficult to measure, due to a number of issues. Our district strives to provide the best possible education to all students, regardless of ability levels.

2. Appropriate funding for public schools. A number of initiatives have been added by the federal and state governments to help ensure adequate levels of education for all children. Unfortunately, these initiatives are not fully funded by the state or federal government. Finding innovative ways to support education is important to the administration and staff of District 2687, and I’m happy to support them.

Why should you be elected?

I believe the primary responsibility of the school board is to look out for the children enrolled in the district. I strive to advocate for the children and the community during the decision-making process at the board level.

How will you ensure that each and every student in the school district has equal access to programs and funding available?

Consistent review of policies and application of those policies allows for students to receive services as needed. Our district offers as many programs and activities as it can afford. Student enrollment and interest help to determine the programs available.

Charlie Weber

Why are you running for office?

Open-minded, common sense approach, life-long resident, open to the whole district.

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

Condition of the middle school; national economy, boiler, refrigerator and freezer problems. I would advise not to put good money after bad, but there are six other members who have a say on how to do a fix. We have to compromise on our decisions.

Why should you be elected?

I’m experienced, but still learning. I don’t believe there is a board or administration in the state that knows about everything. We have money surprises coming around the corner (i.e., fridge and freezer). Common sense prevails in these decisions.

How will you ensure that each and every student in the school district has equal access to programs and funding available?

The voters in the district will have to help with renewing levies and bond issues. The administration will have to get the funding to the programs. What makes that hard to do is unfunded mandates.

Fred Yerke

Why are you running for office?

I am running for school board because I want to help provide the resources necessary to educate the children of our communities and make our communities stand out as a leader in education in Minnesota.

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

The first would be the middle school building dilemma. I believe wholeheartedly in communication with the public. Depending on how the vote goes, I will look for the best solution for the situation. This includes looking at the possibility of other resources that could possibly come from the state or federal government; and only come back to the community as a last resort.

Updated teaching materials is the next biggest issue facing our schools. Updating textbooks and other materials every six years is unacceptable in this day and age. As anyone would know who has gone to college, our world and its materials, along with information, is changing at a rapid pace. I feel we can have better resources faster by utilizing our spending better and looking into possible corporate funding of certain materials. There are state and national grants, and major corporations will help schools provide such resources.

Why should you be elected?

I believe we need a new perspective on our school board. I feel I could be a leader in communicating the expectations of the board to the community, and will always have an open door policy with the community. I have a very good working relationship with the elected officials of both the state and federal governments, and would ask for grant money before coming to the community for any funds.

How will you ensure that each and every student in the school district has equal access to programs and funding available?

I am willing to work to make sure every student has an opportunity to excel. I would like to see a program that utilizes gifted children by promoting a mentor program for children that need extra help. I would also l like to see the revision of “No Child Left Behind” so it is not as hurtful to schools, and have a special section in it for kids with special needs to truly show how a school is doing academically.

Jesse Tintes

Why are you running for office?

Our family has three boys that currently attend school in HLWW School District 2687. I want to make sure they have the best education to prepare them for college or a career once they graduate. As our own kids reach graduation and move on in their lives, I want to make sure that the decisions made on the school board now have a positive impact on HLWW students now and in future generations.

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

The biggest issue on people’s minds right now is the repair or replacement of the HLWW middle school. Once election day is behind us, the middle school decision will have been made by the taxpayers and the board will then have to act on the direction given. I look forward to working on the board and the challenges it may bring.

My main focus if elected to the HLWW School Board is the continued growth and education of the students and faculty. Tough decisions will be made as we move forward in this down economy and I want to make sure the taxpayers are well informed. We all need to remember that every decision made by the board and the taxpayers directly affects the students.

Why should you be elected?

During the past 10 years as a resident of the HLWW School District, I have been involved with several organizations from a trustee on our church council, coaching Little League, nine years as a Cub Scout leader and Cubmaster and three years as an assistant coach for the HLWW Laker cross country team. All of these volunteer positions have helped me get to know and better understand the families in our district. As my term with the church council comes to an end this December, and our youngest son graduates from Cub Scouting, I would like to continue to make a positive impact on our communities.

How will you ensure that each and every student in the school district has equal access to programs and funding available?

In today’s economy, access and funding to local programs is a challenge we can and will overcome. People are less apt to spend money and now may be faced with issues that could and will occur in our school district which all require funding. As I have stated before, communication is key and the decisions we make (taxpayers and the board) will directly affect the students. I can assure the families in our school district that before I make any decisions I will have thoroughly considered all the options.

Dan Schaible

Why are you running for office?

To help continue the work that the school board has been doing for the last five years.

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

1. Levy! Continue to prepare for the levy in 2009-10. Inform the public about our school and the importance of the levy.

2. Kids! Give them as much help as we can because they are our present and our future.

Why should you be elected?

I care about our kids and our schools.

How will you ensure that each and every student in the school district has equal access to programs and funding available?

(No answer given.)

Al Doering

Why are you running for office?

There are tough financial issues ahead for public education in general and this district specifically. Given my experience, I feel obligated to further assist the district in making the plans and budgets that will allow it to provide the best possible education to the students, while keeping the taxpayers’ interests in mind.

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

While we have new or remodeled facilities for most of our district, the middle school building is still an issue that needs to be addressed. The voters will help decide this fall whether they want to spend additional funds to address it now, or if they prefer to hold off at this time and hope for the best in the future. With that said, I think our two biggest issues are funding and class offerings. State funding, alone, is not enough to fully finance a school and meet the ever-growing state and federal mandated requirements, let alone provide the additional funding needed to offer the elective courses that better prepare our students for the workplace and/or post secondary education.

Why should you be elected?

I will try my best to balance the needs of our students and taxpayers using plain old common sense.

How will you ensure that each and every student in the school district has equal access to programs and funding available?

To the best of my knowledge, this already exists. I see no reason why that will change. That’s why I support public education. I would just like to see the state and federal government get out of mandating wasteful programs to the local school districts that often do nothing to benefit the students or communities as a whole.