Incumbents run in school board election

BY SARA STROMSETH-TROY

Cresco Times Plain Dealer

HOWARD-WINNESHIEK SCHOOL DISTRICT – Incumbents Karlos McClure and Duane Bodermann are running for reelection to the school board for the Howard Winneshiek School District.

The school board election is Tuesday, Sept. 10.

The two candidates answered questions submitted to them by Cresco Times Plain Dealer:

Karlos McClure

Q: Why do you feel you are best suited to this position on the school board?

A: I am completing my first term on the board. During this time I have worked with an existing board and a new majority board. Also, I have worked with three different superintendents as well as served 44 years in Iowa public education. One of my positions was being superintendent in three different districts, which allowed me the opportunity to work with boards and develop the background for understanding the role of a board member.

Our existing board is striving to become the driving force at Howard-Winneshiek. We believe in change for the better of student achievement, teamwork leadership as an example for our staff and students, and we believe in each other as board members. It takes two to three years for a person to develop an understanding of their roles and responsibilities as a board member. A person really needs to serve at least two terms to be a most effective school board director.

I feel my willingness to serve, my former experiences and these past four years on the board representing public opinion have contributed to my ability to best serve the Howard-Winneshiek Community School District.

Q: As an incumbent, what plans, issues or future goals have you discussed that you are most intent on continuing in the position if re-elected?

A: Four years ago I stated, “that I wanted to be on the school board for a variety of reasons.” One of those goals was to develop a five-10 year future plan. This was and remains a high priority for me. There are several basic pieces to this, which includes financial well being, communication, student achievement and facilities.

My experience has allowed me to have a strong understanding for budgeting, how declining enrollment affects a district, how to reduce expenditures and increase revenues. In other words, we want to be a financially healthy district.

The present board is very intent on developing an understanding of our vision and mission, so the public and staff will have the same understanding and can embrace the strategic plan. All of us would agree that each year we want all students to show growth both academically and socially. It is critical we continue to provide our teachers the opportunities to grow professionally as we strive to meet the needs of 21st century students. For example, we have committed thousands of dollars for technology that will support our staff and students in their teaching and learning.

Improving our facilities is no longer just maintaining. We are developing a master plan that will provide safe entry into our buildings, heating and cooling will be more efficient, deciding what the district will look like in five years, and how will we reconfigure our buildings to best serve student needs. The fore mentioned items are top priorities of interest to me if I have the pleasure to continue to serve this district.

Q: What is the biggest challenge facing the Howard-Winneshiek School District, in your view?

A: In simple terms reducing expenditures, increasing revenues, reducing open enrollment out of the district, creating safe and efficient facilities and providing students opportunities that will place them in the best possible position to compete locally and globally.

Q: What is the biggest positive issue facing the Howard-Winneshiek School District, in your view?

A: There is not a single issue that I would classify as the biggest. There is, however, one issue that bears watching, and that is how well we do with preparing our students to succeed locally and globally. Because this is part of our mission, the district will need to implement plans of action to bring this to fruition. If we can do this, then I think it will be one of our greatest accomplishments if not the greatest.

Q: What are some of the future goals you foresee for the school district in coming years?

A: Increasing the size of our district, improving our facilities, be a model school for the remainder of the state, be recognized in our state as a top school and nationally as well, be a leader in student achievement, being the catalyst that spurs economic growth in our district.

Duane Bodermann

Q: Why do you feel you are best suited for this position on the school board?

A: This is a tough one. There are several people in our community who have talents greater than mine and would do a good job serving the board. I have three kids in school, get along well with others and want what’s best for all. Hopefully that’s what you would hear if you asked someone else.

Q: As an incumbent, what plans, issues or future goals have you discussed that you are most intent on continuing in the position if re-elected?

A: I feel if graduates can look back and feel fulfilled not only in their education but their entire school experience we have succeeded. I am a promoter of community togetherness in a district as large as ours we have traditionally struggled with the allocation of resources. I would like the school to be a draw for growth in all the communities we serve.

Q: What is the biggest challenge facing the Howard-Winneshiek School District, in your view?

A: No different than any family or business, the budget is a constant concern. The challenge for the board will be to set priorities to live within our budgets, both from a staff and facility perspective.

Q: What is the biggest positive issue facing the Howard-Winneshiek School District, in your view?

A: I feel the school has a lot of positive momentum right now. The laptop and iPad rollout is a huge positive. Greater than that, is the desire for the staff to change and develop their teaching methods around this new technology.

Q: What are some of the future goals you foresee for the school district in coming years?

A: My primary goal is to make Howard-Winn a destination school for families in the area. Going back to what I talked about before, if we can build a culture of togetherness and willingness to change from a student, staff, and community perspective I will feel we have succeeded.

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