Three candidates are running for two open seats on the School Board here.

The election will take place Tuesday, along with the annual budget vote.

The Press-Republican asked the candidates what they hope to accomplish if elected to the three-year terms.

JANET SMITH

Incumbent Janet Smith said she would focus on the things that don't cost money, such as attitude, dedication, creativity and collaboration.

"Without transparency in our school, we don't have any of these. That being said, with dropping enrollment and decreasing state aid, we're going to have to become really reactive so that we can offer all of our students the programs they need to become successful citizens.

"We are a very small district, but we're very academically diverse. We are going to have to look at consolidating and sharing programs and costs with other districts."

GERALD BLAIR

Candidate Gerald Blair would like to make sure the new leader of the school is off to a smooth start.

"And I would like to prepare for a tough year economically. I think the preparation needs to begin now. We need to start thinking about how we are going to run a school system on less for the next two or three years.

"In all my years in administration, every school cost goes on the table. You leave absolutely nothing out. There is a whole gamut of aspects of the school system that can be looked at, but this is not a process that can start in the late fall. Everybody is going to have to start thinking outside of the box for ways to generate revenue for the things we can't afford anymore."

HERBERT STOERR

If elected to the School Board, Herbert Stoerr said he would pursue educational excellence at a cost affordable to taxpayers and study ways to share administrative services.

"If we want to hang on to academic excellence, we have to look at self-contained savings and sharing administrative services with neighboring communities. Cuts to educational substance are wrong; it is better to make cuts in supporting positions and into things without a direct influence on the education of students. I would also share School Board information with the community in a more effective and open way.

"Just because somebody has been on the School Board for a long time doesn't mean they can adapt to new financial realities. I think sometimes we need a new look."

E-mail Kim Smith Dedam at: kdedam@pressrepublican.com

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