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Paynesville Press - Oct. 31, 2012

Paynesville School District #741
Kella Bugbee

Kella Bugbee

Kella Bugbee, 52, has worked as the staff development coordinator for the Paynesville Area Health Care System since 2003. She has degrees from the University of Minnesota (retail merchandising) and Lakewood Commun-ity College (nursing). She and her husband Paul have two children: Natalie, a 2007 PHS grad, and Ben, 8.

Why are you interested in serving on school board?
When I discovered Gretchen O'Fallon was retiring from the school board, I gave this position and the commitment involved great thought.  I am devoted to education and believe that investing time, energy, and resources into our children's education is the best way to secure a healthy future for all of us.

Describe your experiences with kids and explain how these will help you make decisions on school board.
I am a parent of two children and am closely involved in their formal and informal education. As with my daughter in her elementary school years, I volunteer in my son's classroom a couple times a month throughout the year. I feel it is a privilege and a rewarding experience to spend time with the kids and observing their classrooms in action.

What new ideas do you think you can bring to the school board?
I believe that it does take a community to raise a child, and that community starts at home. We should not assume that learning, discovery, and intellect are only the school's responsibility. I believe parents play an integral part in the success of their children's education.  I would be in favor of offering parental education on how to help create and help motivate our children into great achievers.

Why should (or shouldn't) district voters support the operating levy referendum on Tuesday, Nov. 6? (With its $415 per pupil levy expiring, the district is asking voters to approve a new 10-year levy at $723.)
To advance the effectiveness and quality of our education! We don't want to position the board into making difficult budget decisions that could potentially hinder growth of our children's education.

If the operating levy referendum passes on Tuesday, Nov. 6, what would you see as funding priorities for the school district?
•Continued strong academic programs
•Maintain small class sizes
•Grow enrichment programs for high achievers
•Enhance extracrricular programs.

If the referendum fails and the district needs to make additional spending cuts, what areas would you target for reductions?
If the levy doesn't pass, I think it will be difficult to maintain educational sufficiency. I can't make any recommendations as to where to cut at this point.

What do you see as the district's most pressing facility needs?
Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the school's heating and ventilation infrastructure. We need to insure energy conservation but also need uniform heating and comfortable learning environments within the schools.

How should the district address these needs?
Pass a reasonable facility levy as suggested by the facility review committee last year.

What should the district do to deal with the impact of declining enrollment?
Strive to become among the top 10 percent of Minnesota schools recognized for academic excellence. Look at what these top-rated Minnesota schools are doing and emulate their programs.

How important are strong extracurricular programs to our school district? What should the board do to encourage and enhance these programs?
Strong extracurricular programs are important for a well-rounded school education and another enticing reason to enroll in our district. I think the board could expand extra-curricular activities/programs that provide educational, social, and leadership opportunities for students (such as internships with local businesses, etc.) in addition to the traditional programs that our school has offered.

How should the school board and school district maximize community support for the Paynesville Area Public Schools?
By encouraging a cooperative relationship between the school and community so everyone has important facts about our school. The school board and district provide a two-way communication by offering informational meetings on the levy and being available to answer questions.

What's your view of the leadership role of the school board?
I think effective leadership ultimately creates a quality learning environment for our children and our community. I believe successful leaders motivate others to work together to achieve common goals. They recognize that no one can do everything alone and inspire others to be part of the team.

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