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Armstrong-Ringsted to have race for one seat

September 7, 2013
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville News

With two directors running unopposed, voters will decide one seat on the Armstrong-Ringsted Board of Education Tuesday, Sept. 10.

Director at large Jennifer Von Bank will run unopposed as will District 2 director Karen Ann Thackery.

District 3 director and board president James Boyer is running against challenger Travis Nielsen, both of Ringsted.

Boyer farms in the Ringsted area and is active in promoting farm issues at the local, state and national level. Nielsen works at Ringtel Communications and owns Nielsen Photography with his wife Sommer.

Probably the biggest issue the district faces is how it will work through consolidation with Sentral School District which is slated to happen by July 1, 2014, along with negotiations with North Kossuth for another whole-grade sharing agreement and possible later consolidation.

Following are the answers Boyer and Nielsen gave to a questionnaire from the Estherville News.

Jim Boyer

1) Please tell a little about yourself and why you believe you are qualified to serve on the board of education.

My wife Lisa and I farm and raise livestock west of Ringsted. We have 3 children in the A/R school district Rebecca 17, Elizabeth 16, & Kevin 11.

I have been on the A/R school board for 4 years, the past 2 serving as the president of the board. I have been recently appointed to serve on the new North Union board. The past 4 years I have been instrumental in the whole grade sharing agreement with North Kossuth, Sentral and A/R. and the consolidation of Sentral, and A/R.

The past 18 years I have taken an active role in many different boards and committees, including Farm Bureau, Pork Board and Council, and County Fair. I have served these interested on local, state, national & international level. I have always maintained an open line of communication with our elected officials, and those that make the important decisions that affect our schools.

I believe I have the proven experience and dedication to continue to serve the students and patrons of the Armstrong/Ringsted School District.

2) Please explain your philosophy of education.

I believe that education is one of the most important life lessons that we are responsible to pass on to our next generation. I believe that one of the most important aspects of education is teaching kids how to learn, and develop a lifelong love of learning.

3) How would you as a board member fulfill your responsibility to taxpayers?

The most important responsibility that school boards have to taxpayers is accountability. We are obligated to use the resources that we are entrusted with by the taxpayers to best educate our students and maintain school buildings. I believe school boards will continue to be challenged with increasing cost and limited resources. I will continue to use the experience and expertise of our administrators to provide the board with information to make sure taxpayers have faith in the school boards to use their taxes responsibly.

4) How would you as a board member fulfill your responsibility to educating the children of the district?

As a school board we need to continue to look to our administrators and educators to provide us with information to help us make those decisions to provide the best possible education for our students to prepare them for life after high school. I believe we need to put additional focus on STEM courses (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math). Our students, when they graduate from high school and moving on to college or the work force are going to need a clear understanding of these areas in order to compete in an every demanding job market.

5)What do you believe are the most pressing issues that the district faces?

As with most smaller school districts in the state, the challenge of balancing the needs of providing a quality first class education that will prepare our students for the future, and using the resources entrusted to us by the taxpayers. Travis Nielsen

1) Please tell a little about yourself and why you believe you are qualified to serve on the board of education.

I'm a lifelong resident of Ringsted and am a graduate of Armstrong Ringsted School. My wife Sommer and I have two children, Sydney who is in the fifth grade and Raegan who is in kindergarten. I work at RingTel Communications and am a member of the Ringsted Fire Department and my wife and I own Nielsen Photography. I also am one of the coaches of the Ringsted T-ball program. I believe that my community involvement and business interests will be beneficial to serve on the school board.

2) Please explain your philosophy of education.

I believe in the basics of education which are reading, writing, math and science and children should have good communicating skills. I also believe that extracurricular activities provide a well-rounded education experience.

3) How would you as a board member fulfill your responsibility to taxpayers?

I will do my best to help make the right decisions and represent the taxpayers and to keep the costs low as possible and provide the best education to the kids.

4) How would you as a board member fulfill your responsibility to educating the children of the district?

As a board member I would do everything possible to provide good teachers and the best possible educational environment for the children. I would be available to deal with board issues that affect the children's education.

5) What do you believe are the most pressing issues that the district faces?

I think right now the most pressing issue is the growing pains of a merging system. It is impossible to anticipate every issue but a board member needs to be willing to deal with them as these issues arise.

 
 

 

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