If you would like that, as well, please vote for me Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Chester Hoernemann

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Lester Prairie School Board

Karla Heigl

Why are you running for Lester Prairie School Board?

I have really enjoyed the last four-and-one-half years of serving on the school board for Lester Prairie Schools (LPS). I want to continue to do my part in serving the residents of District 424 by continuing to support our administration, staff, and parents in providing for a forward-thinking, value-centered education, and the life-long opportunities that a strong k-12 education provides.

I am very excited about the direction our school is heading. We have made noticeable improvements and upgrades to our curriculum, technology, and facilities. I believe our staff is second to none, and I will do whatever I can to ensure they are given the tools they need to provide for the best quality education for all of our students.

What do you believe are the top two issues facing the district, and what are your proposed solutions?

1. Continued growth. I believe we need to continually improve and enhance the offerings at LPS in order to attract young families to our community and school.

We have seen an increase in enrollment in the last several years, which is extremely encouraging, and I will do whatever I can to ensure we continue on this path of growth.

2. Funding. As with all government-funded programs at this time, funds are extremely tight. We will need to do our best to ensure every dollar is spent in the most efficient and effective way possible. I believe the board and administration have been very responsible in managing our funds over the last several years.

What specifically can this unit of government do to cut costs and operate efficiently, while still maintaining service to taxpayers?

A number of years ago, when our school was facing statutory operating debt, the school board took measures to streamline our expenses. We needed to make some difficult, but necessary decisions in order to ensure the long-term financial stability of the district.

In addition, the community supported the operating levies that were needed to ensure a strong financial future for our district.

Over the last several years, I believe the administration and school board have worked very hard to ensure that the taxpayers’ money is spent in the most efficient and effective way possible.

I will continue to support decisions that will ensure the financial stability of our school well into the future.

MerriLea Kyllo

Why are you running for Lester Prairie School Board?

I was asked by several community people to consider a candidacy this fall, as I have been an avid supporter of all programs in the school and have always been ready to serve in whatever volunteer capacity the school needs.

I have served as a director on the Lester Prairie Education Foundation (the Bulldog Bash was one of my suggestions), and I was president of our local Parent/Teacher Organization (starting the Christmas store for the elementary which has continued for at least 10 years). I have led Junior Great Books, have at numerous times volunteered in the classroom, and continue to volunteer my time for the football team on the sidelines assisting with injured players (I am a registered nurse), and have helped various other teams, as well. I have supported all facets of the school: academic, arts, and athletics.

I am a strong supporter of our school. I am an alumni of the school, class of 1980. We have two daughters who have, or are attending Lester Prairie High School. Our eldest daughter graduated in 2006 (is currently in an excellent medical school in St. Louis), and our youngest daughter is currently a ninth grader.

Our family has also hosted six exchange students, who each attended school at Lester Prairie, as well as our nephew who we raised during his junior and senior year.

We have had much experience with many issues, as raising teenagers is challenging, but I find when faced with obstacles, working together, we can achieve many wonderful goals.

I feel very strongly that parents should have an active voice in their children’s education. We, as parents, are, first and foremost, our child’s educational advocate.

What do you believe are the top two issues facing the district, and what are your proposed solutions?

All schools face the challenge of attracting and retaining students, and continuing to challenge and motivate children, of all different backgrounds, to learn and maximize their individual potential.

My solution is ongoing, with promoting the school’s assets and trying to attract new students and retain students currently enrolled. Continuing to promote and improve all three areas of learning: academics, arts, and athletics.

What specifically can this unit of government do to cut costs and operate efficiently, while still maintaining service to taxpayers?

First of all, we need to stop thinking about the school as just a unit of government. It is a business (and a competitive business, at that).

We need to operate efficiently, but I know that our current operating budget is satisfactory and cutting costs would lead to cutting programs, which is entirely the wrong direction to take in a business.

We need to think outside the box in meeting the challenges as stated above.

How do we attract students and maintain a high level of satisfaction amongst children and their parents (as they are really our customers)?

I have always been considered an idea person on every committee I have served, including my work. I would like to put my idea skills to work in helping to enhance our school and serve our community.

If you would like that, as well, please vote for me Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Chester Hoernemann

Why are you running for Lester Prairie School Board?

I inadvertently missed the filing date for school board, so I decided to try for the write-in venue.

I want to get back on the school board because I am a strong advocate for good education. I always advocate for my clients to look to further education in order to improve their lot in life. I am, as always, an advocate for Lester Prairie remaining an independent school district.

I have 20 years previous experience on the Lester Prairie School Board, and I would like to offer the benefit of that experience to the current board and administration.

We have a good school, and we need to protect that resource locally.

Since my first term on the school board in 1991, I have seen, many times, that bigger has seldom proven to be better. When a school gets bigger, a few students will benefit, but a larger number fall through the cracks, eventually becoming a burden on society in other ways. A good school is an investment in a better future for all ages.

What do you believe are the top two issues facing the school board, and what are your proposed solutions?

The primary issue, as I see it, is to operate within our allowed budget. I know that schools get only what the state offers, unless the local voters approve otherwise, but I know all of us, as taxpayers, are stressed to the max.

Streamlining and efficiency are the best hope for continuing to offer the best for our students.

Cost containment is a huge issue for me, and I hope to advocate for the best outcomes within the financial resources we have, stressing good teachers and good administrators.

I want to keep the parents of our students satisfied with the offerings we have.

I am also a proponent of sharing resources with neighboring schools, where expenses would preclude offerings for less than optimum class size interest from our students. In other words, if we have one, two, three, or more students interested in a subject Lester Prairie doesn’t offer, I feel we can continue to form working arrangements with neighboring schools.

What specifically can this unit of government do to cut costs and operate efficiently, while still maintaining service to taxpayers?

Unfortunately, our educational process will not get cheaper. Labor costs are rising, but that doesn’t mean we can’t come to agreements to keep costs reasonable.

Good, efficient maintenance is a money-saver in the long run. Dedicated teachers, who put students first, are money-savers. Administrators who work well with the community and the staff are money-savers. Board members who always keep an eye on the bottom line, making wise, efficient, effective decisions are money-savers over time.

Short-term savings may be long-term money wasters; knowing the difference is every board member’s duty.

Rollie Radtke

Why are you running for office?

I enjoy being on the school board and take a lot of pride in helping our district to keep moving forward in providing our children with the quality education and resources they need to succeed.

What do you believe are the top two issues facing the (city/county/district), and what are your proposed solutions?

1) Enrollment -- We need to make sure as a school board that we continue to provide the resources it takes to keep our children in our own district and continue to attract and keep others that either are moving into the district or are looking at our school through open enrollment..

2) Budget – We only receive a certain amount of dollars through the state and local taxes to operate our school district on. As a business owner I understand what it takes to make a business, and that is what a school district is, run on the budget it is given. The board has done a great job in the last 4 years in keeping our district running efficiently and effectively, and with my help we can continue to keep moving forward in a positive direction for everyone in the district.

What specifically can this unit of government do to cut costs and operate efficiently while still maintaining service to taxpayers?

We need to make sure we continue to operate within the budget we’re provided. We’ve made some tough decisions as a board in the past couple years to make certain cuts in areas that we thought we could not only save the district money but also receive a much better service than what were paying for. I’m not afraid to make a decision that I know will help this district to keep moving forward for many years to come, and keep us running with the budget’s we’re given.

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