Bozeman University District voters are getting requested to select two faculty board users out of four candidates in the Could election.
Candidates include things like incumbents Tanya Reinhardt and Lisa Weaver and challengers Lauren Dee and Amber Jupka.
The Bozeman Training Affiliation, the district’s academics union, has endorsed two of the candidates — Lauren Dee and Tanya Reinhardt.
The League of Ladies Voters of Bozeman and the Bozeman Public Library will host a prospect forum on Monday at 6:30 p.m.
Ballots were being mailed to voters on Friday and are due back by 8 p.m. on May 3. The Gallatin County Elections Department advises voters returning their ballots by mail to send out them no later than April 27.
Lauren Dee attended Montana Condition University and acquired an elementary instruction diploma. She taught at a two-room rural schoolhouse north of Bozeman before she and her husband started out a household.
With her a few small children enrolled in the school district, Dee began volunteering in the educational institutions and serving in leadership positions in the Hawthorne Elementary School father or mother advisory council.
Dee credits her expertise on the district’s superior school changeover workforce, which made a decision the high college boundary line, for encouraging her to find her voice and fashioned associations all through the Bozeman training technique.
“It was when I was collaborating with this group that I identified a new location in which my enthusiasm for schooling thrived. I actually appreciated heading to each assembly and studying from the facts that was introduced to us,” Dee stated.
Dee reported she had practical experience with and regard for the district’s consensus method through the superior faculty changeover committee.
“I identified this niche for becoming that center individual and keeping the kids at the center of the space and the center of the discussion while listening to all these various sights and perspectives,” she reported. “It is an incredible way to get a huge team of men and women with each other with different voices but make guaranteed most people feels heard.”
Dee stated she was impressed by the operate getting performed on the prolonged-variety strategic strategy, which includes early literacy application. She said the application is supporting to discover pupils with dyslexia and dysgraphia at a youthful age to assistance them sooner. That get the job done will enable tackle the prolonged-term targets of the district, which includes rising the graduate rate, she mentioned.
A person of the problems experiencing the district, Dee stated, is the growth of Bozeman and the rising price tag of living.
“We are heading to have to creatively collaborate on way to retain our good quality staff, to keep on to convey in top quality educators. As a rising local community, we will have to experience different issues like when are we likely to require yet another elementary school and the place are we likely to put that,” she reported.
Dee reported her strengths involve becoming a previous educator, a lifelong learner, looking at all sides of an problem, obtaining an apolitical tactic to being on the board, and empathy for other individuals. She explained she considered board member should be an apolitical bridge between the community and administration, and she valued getting transparent and fiscally responsible to taxpayers.
“My hope is that all young ones make a basis from the pretty beginning wherever they sense influenced and protected and engaged and that they feel like they matter,” she mentioned. “I passionately treatment that each individual single kid feels that an grownup respects them and sees them.”
Amber Jupka moved to Bozeman in 2001 and became associated in the district with her two children in elementary and middle university. She joined the Meadowlark Elementary guardian advisory council and then invested two years as its president.
As PAC president, Jupka would regularly fulfill with then-superintendent Rob Watson. She explained that’s where her wish to be additional involved in the college commenced.
Jupka also labored as a substitute instructor, a meals provider cashier, and a paraprofessional in the district in the very last several decades. It’s presented her useful encounter and would be a distinct point of view on the board, she claimed.
“As a paraprofessional, you get to type of do all the things, actually get to interact with the young children. You assistance the youngsters and bridge that gap of where by they want support,” Jupka claimed.
Her do the job as a foods support cashier was an eye-opening knowledge, Jupka stated, as she saw the selection of learners who ended up on totally free lunch application.
The most significant problem for the faculty district is staffing, Jupka stated.
“If our educational institutions are not thoroughly staffed, we’re not able to aid the learners. You are not equipped to assistance the academics and it doesn’t create a safe discovering setting,” Jupka reported. “That’s the most vital detail right now, figuring out how we can creatively employees educational institutions.”
Throughout the omicron surge, Jupka stated she worked with the PAC to organize a group of guardian volunteers to support substitute, fill in at recess, lunch or to give teachers a break. Her PAC has also been operating with the Bozeman Educational facilities Basis to begin Venture Hook up at the elementary stage, the place track record checked older people can volunteer in the schools.
“I come to feel like that is a strategic way we can aid the college and in some cases just reading through in the hallway with the kid is all they require. They just want that more reading through time and volunteers can definitely do that,” Jupka claimed.
Jupka claimed she thinks the consensus method has served the district nicely and the couple of moments it hasn’t utilized the process have resulted in tensions.
“You’re by no means going to make every person happy and you are by no means likely to have a entire consensus but we can do the job toward getting the closest one that we can by brining all these stakeholders to the table and listening,” Jupka reported.
Jupka explained her strengths as a candidate are her willingness to function, her skill to worth distinctive views, her openness to interaction and hearing all sides,
“I want to be element of a staff that definitely launches our faculty district even increased level, even while we’re currently a actually wonderful district,” she mentioned.
Tanya Reinhardt is running for her 3rd term on the board, immediately after initial being elected six years in the past. Reinhardt, who is from Montana, graduated from Montana Point out University on an ROTC scholarship and retired from the U.S. Army soon after 22 many years.
“I’m functioning due to the fact I am so passionate about delivering high quality instruction opportunities for students in the Bozeman neighborhood. And I believe that in our instructors and our personnel and our directors and I want to deliver them with the means they need to have to be prosperous,” Reinhardt mentioned.
As a board member, Reinhardt has been included in the opening of the second higher college and the district’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst not each choice can use the consensus building method, she explained, she’s seen it function effectively when it is utilised.
“It’s incredibly intensive and will take a good deal of psychological intelligence to be existing in that process and to be individual,” Reinhardt mentioned. “… It enables everybody’s voice in the home to be read and as a result of that course of action, I imagine we do ordinarily appear up with the greatest answers.”
Seeking ahead, the district will be confronted with continuing to roll out its early literacy system and ensuring it remains funded, Reinhardt explained.
“It’s a pretty significant difficulty for us to be focusing due to the fact we can see if a 3rd grader falls behind in their studying comprehension, it’s pretty challenging for them to capture again up,” she mentioned.
The soaring prices in Bozeman will carry on to be an situation the board will require to pay consideration to and look for resourceful remedies for, which include operating with statewide businesses like the Montana School Board Association, Reinhardt claimed.
“Continuing to advocate for community education and learning, I consider that is actually gong to be a challenge way too, is to go on to travel home the significance of general public schooling in Montana and in certain in Bozeman,” she stated.
Reinhardt mentioned she was passionate about public schooling in Bozeman and advocating for the interests and wants of the pupils and personnel in the district. Through her experience on the board, she claimed, she has acquired that every single choice the board can make needs to be considered and regarded for the effect it has on learners, academics, team and Bozeman.
“With six a long time on the board, I spent the first two several years simply, learning,” Reinhardt reported. “… And I assume the board needs that. We have to have to have a combine of that knowledge and that knowledge on there, as nicely as brining in new people today with new concepts and electricity.”
Lisa Weaver said she has acquired a ton about what it usually takes to be a school board member for the last 10 months on the board.
“Our young children arrived up by way of the schools and I sense like the universities are the coronary heart of the metropolis,” Weaver explained. “It felt like past year the coronary heart was damaged a minor bit. There was so significantly division, confusion, heartache, mother and father upset, youngsters upset, and people today pulling in distinctive directions. It felt like that was a thing I could assistance, as a mediator and conflict coach.”
Weaver ran for college board previous May possibly but dropped to Gary Lusin, Douglas Fischer and Lei-Anna Bertelsen. When a vacancy opened up, Weaver was appointed by the Gallatin County superintendent of schools in June 2021 to fill the seat by Might 2022.
The escalating expense of residing and retaining lecturers will be a single of the district’s most important issues in the subsequent several several years, Weaver claimed.
“With so lots of people relocating in, the cost of dwelling has absent up so substantially and it’s creating it quite challenging for families who are residing in the metropolis,” she explained. “Teachers’ salaries are becoming an even more substantial difficulty than they currently are for the reason that instructors don’t get 3 figure salaries ordinarily.”
Weaver pointed to the collection of conferences the district administration hosted all-around the development of what was initially named a college student equity policy, as an example of an tailored consensus approach.
“There were being people today from quite, really distinct views but to hear them each individual inform their tale and why they have that perspective was astounding,” Weaver claimed. “(Superintendent Casey Bertram) did a amazing occupation in taking that plan and reworking it to say precisely what we will need to say as a district without having any extraneous language that could be perplexed or construed or divisive.”
Weaver mentioned some of her major strengths as a board member are her willingness to get creative to solve a challenge and her advocacy for parents.
“I really feel like I advocate for mother and father. I come to feel like which is one thing that I deliver uniquely to the board,” she claimed. “We all want to do what is most effective for the children. That’s why we’re all there. And I am completely self-confident of that. Nonetheless, we’re not the gurus on the small children, their dad and mom are and they have to have a voice.”
She also mentioned she signifies a distinct voice on the board than could previously be there.
“I really feel like I bring a exceptional viewpoint that needs to be listened to. I feel like it resonates with a lot of people in the community and I feel like it’s definitely critical on the college board to have a ton of distinct voices all-around the desk,” Weaver said.