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Paynesville Press - October 31, 2001

School Board Election 2001 (Part V)

Nine candidates are vying for four open spots on the school board. Throughout the month of October, the candidates and their positions on some key educational issues will be featured in the Press. The election is on Tuesday, Nov. 6, from noon to 8 p.m. in the west lobby at Paynesville Area Elementary School.

A candidate forum will be held on Thursday, Nov. 1, from 7 to 9:15 p.m. in the new school auditorium.

Today's Questions:
(1) In light of the school's tight financial situation, what can be done to improve or maintain the educational offerings in Paynesville at little expense?
(2) If you are elected, what initiatives do you expect to push in the next four years?

Allen Schmidt Allen Schmidt
Allen Schmidt, 40, graduated from Paynesville Area High School in 1979. He is the live haul supervisor for Jennie-O Turkey Store at their Melrose location.

He and his wife, Lori, have four daughters: Sarah, a ninth grader at PAHS; Rachel, a seventh grader at PAMS; Nicole, a fifth grader at PAES; and Megan, a second grader at PAES.

(1) One area could be increased volunteerism from parents, grandparents, and community members for staff support and various activities. This could have a very positive effect. It could help financially by reducing some staffing needs, but probably more importantly it would give parents more ownership in their children's education, which should only make it better. I feel that children whose parents become involved in their education are more likely to succeed in school as well as later in life.

(2) My only initiative would be to try to maintain high standards for quality education and to stay within our budget.

Steve Olson Steve Olson
Steve Olson, 27, is a 1993 graduate of Paynesville Area High School. He spent three years at college and earned a degree in auto mechanics from Ridgewater College in Willmar.

He served on student councils in high school and college and has served on the curriculum committee for District #741. He is single and works as a RV technician for Ted's RV Land doing road service work.

(1) I think that we need to simply stick to the basics in education. This will bring up our basic skills testing results, which in turn will help our enrollment.

(2) I don't have a platform per se on my plans for the next four years other than to see the district working in the black.

Don Kelm Don Kelm
Don Kelm, 43, graduated from Eden Valley High School and attended vocational school for one year to study shoe repair. He farms and is the owner/operator of Kelm's Shoe Repair.

He and his wife, Irma, have two children: Donald Jr., an 11th grader at PAHS; and Jody, an eighth grader at PAMS.

(1) Make some internal adjustments.

(2) Balance the school budget. Inform the community of what is happening in our school district.

Gary Heineman Gary Heineman
Gary D. Heineman, 61, holds a masters of science in education. He was the principal at PAES for 27 years. He currently is the principal at Sts. Peter, Paul, and Michael Middle School in St. Cloud.

He and his wife, Jeanne, have six children - Kimberly, 39; Wendi, 36; Mary, 32; Jennifer, 28; Jodi, 23; and Tom Krupke, 34 - and 10 grandchildren.

(1) We need to consider options for operation that will rely on less expenditures. This can be done - we need to think "outside the box" regarding employment options for our district.

(2) I'm concerned about how decision making is accomplished by our board. I'm concerned that had the present leadership of the board paid more attention to spending recommendations these past cuts could have been much smaller.

Deb Glenz Deb Glenz
Deb Glenz, 42, was raised in a military family and attended several schools before graduating from Duluth Central. She has run a daycare at home for the past 15 years. She has served on the school board since 1994 and is the only incumbent running for re-election.

She and her husband, Michael, have four children: Michelle (23) and Julie (21), who both attend Mankato State; Ryan, 17, a junior at PAHS; and Sean, 14, an eighth grader at PAMS.

(1) I believe it's going to take the collaborative efforts of everyone in this district to pull together, to use as little as possible, and to be constantly searching for other ways in which to access information, learning, and funding.

(2) If I am elected, I will push to complete a financial plan with pre-set markers for reductions or increases when needed in order to balance the budget, keep it balanced, and have everyone in the district aware of exactly where we stand and what's being done.

Mark Dingmann Mark Dingmann
Mark Dingmann, 38, attended St. Cloud State University and the St. Cloud Hospital School of X-ray and Chippewa Valley Technical College for a degree in ultrasound. He is the radiology manager for the Paynes-ville Area Health Care System.

He and his wife, Kathy, have three children: Zachary, 7, a second grader; Nicholas, 5; and Katelyn, 3.

(1) Find ways to increase parent and community involvement by implementing more volunteer programs. We need to also look at every option we can to improve our financial situation without jeopardizing our children's education.

(2) To create a budget that has a positive general fund balance. Keep the teacher per student ratio low. Offer our students more electives such as advanced placement courses that allow students to earn college credits. And supply classrooms with up-to-date text books, computers, and other media equipment.

Bob Stoneburner Bob Stoneburner
Bob Stoneburner, 50, earned his bachelor's degree from Temple University in Philadelphia and his juris doctor from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul. He is a self-employed attorney with his own law office in Paynesville since 1981.

He and his wife, Jane, have four children: Ryan, 22, a senior at Mankato State; Lynn, 20, a junior at South Dakota State; Laura, 16, a junior at PAHS; and Tom, 14, an eighth grader at PAMS.

(1) My only suggestion at this point would be to solicit involvement of qualified volunteers (retired teachers, coaches, administrators) to assist the district with basic and elective educational offerings; or, to seek private funding for specific educational programs, through contributions or bequests to the school.

(2) Evaluation of teacher performance and retaining quality teachers; reduction or elimination of fees charged to students (and their families) for participation in athletic programs; increased opportunities to learn about careers of interest to students; and solid financial policies and management.

Tami Stanger Tami Stanger
Tami Stanger, 32, is a 1987 graduate of Paynesville Area High School. She earned a bachelor of science in biology-medical technology and works as a medical technologist at the Paynesville Area Health Care System.

She and her husband, Dean, have three children: Trey, 8, a second grader at PAES; Allie, 4; and Gavin, 2.

(1) I think we need to take advantage of any state and/or federal grant money that we can apply for. We need to look into pilot programs that have money available, promote boxtops and Campbell's labels and, lastly, we need to take advantage of any parent volunteer time that is offered at K-12 levels.

(2) First, post-secondary credits. I intend to push for several of our high school classes becoming eligible to earn post-secondary credits for our students. Second, I intend to look at class sizes in our district. I believe the average class size hasn't changed as much as I've been led to believe and if this is the case the average revenue per student should be a factor in our budgeting process.

Sandy Spanier Sandy Spanier
Sandy L. Spanier, 39, graduated from Alexandria High School in 1980 and went to the Model College of Hair Design. She has also taken management training through Great Clips, Inc. She is a school bus driver and a subsitute aide and kitchen worker at the middle school.

She and her husband, Randy, have four children: Josh Schreifels, a 12th grader; Peter Schreifels, a 10th grader; Cory Spanier, a sixth grader; and Clay Spanier, a kindergartner.

(1) At present, I don't have enough information.

(2) Giving our children what they need and deserve with the consideration of what we have to work with.

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