Bozeman School District voters are getting asked to pick two university board users out of 4 candidates in the May perhaps election.
Candidates involve incumbents Tanya Reinhardt and Lisa Weaver and challengers Lauren Dee and Amber Jupka.
The Bozeman Instruction Association, the district’s academics union, has endorsed two of the candidates — Lauren Dee and Tanya Reinhardt.
The League of Women Voters of Bozeman and the Bozeman Public Library will host a candidate forum on Monday at 6:30 p.m.
Ballots ended up mailed to voters on Friday and are due again by 8 p.m. on Could 3. The Gallatin County Elections Department advises voters returning their ballots by mail to deliver them no later than April 27.
Lauren Dee attended Montana Point out College and gained an elementary instruction diploma. She taught at a two-home rural schoolhouse north of Bozeman ahead of she and her partner begun a family members.
With her a few youngsters enrolled in the college district, Dee started volunteering in the educational institutions and serving in leadership positions in the Hawthorne Elementary Faculty mum or dad advisory council.
Dee credits her encounter on the district’s substantial university changeover staff, which made the decision the significant faculty boundary line, for serving to her to uncover her voice and fashioned associations all over the Bozeman education and learning procedure.
“It was when I was collaborating with this team that I identified a new put exactly where my enthusiasm for training thrived. I definitely enjoyed heading to each individual conference and learning from the information that was presented to us,” Dee reported.
Dee stated she had knowledge with and regard for the district’s consensus course of action by the higher university transition committee.
“I found this market for becoming that center human being and retaining the children at the heart of the room and the heart of the dialogue although listening to all these a variety of sights and perspectives,” she mentioned. “It is an wonderful way to get a massive team of persons jointly with unique voices but make absolutely sure everyone feels read.”
Dee said she was motivated by the do the job getting carried out on the very long-selection strategic plan, like early literacy program. She said the plan is helping to discover students with dyslexia and dysgraphia at a more youthful age to aid them faster. That operate will support address the extended-term plans of the district, together with expanding the graduate charge, she claimed.
1 of the challenges struggling with the district, Dee reported, is the expansion of Bozeman and the rising expense of living.
“We are going to have to creatively collaborate on way to retain our high quality staff members, to carry on to bring in excellent educators. As a developing group, we will have to experience distinctive points like when are we heading to need a further elementary university and where by are we going to position that,” she explained.
Dee explained her strengths include becoming a previous educator, a lifelong learner, looking at all sides of an issue, possessing an apolitical tactic to staying on the board, and empathy for others. She stated she imagined board member should be an apolitical bridge in between the local community and administration, and she valued currently being transparent and fiscally dependable to taxpayers.
“My hope is that all little ones establish a basis from the quite starting where by they come to feel inspired and protected and engaged and that they come to feel like they subject,” she stated. “I passionately care that every solitary child feels that an grownup respects them and sees them.”
Amber Jupka moved to Bozeman in 2001 and became included in the district with her two kids in elementary and center school. She joined the Meadowlark Elementary mum or dad advisory council and then expended two decades as its president.
As PAC president, Jupka would routinely meet with then-superintendent Rob Watson. She mentioned that is where her want to be far more involved in the college started out.
Jupka also labored as a substitute trainer, a food items service cashier, and a paraprofessional in the district in the previous number of many years. It’s delivered her valuable practical experience and would be a unique perspective on the board, she said.
“As a paraprofessional, you get to type of do every little thing, seriously get to interact with the youngsters. You help the youngsters and bridge that hole of where by they have to have guidance,” Jupka mentioned.
Her work as a food support cashier was an eye-opening practical experience, Jupka said, as she observed the number of pupils who have been on free of charge lunch software.
The most critical obstacle for the school district is staffing, Jupka stated.
“If our universities are not totally staffed, we’re not ready to aid the students. You are not equipped to aid the teachers and it doesn’t build a safe discovering natural environment,” Jupka claimed. “That’s the most vital issue ideal now, figuring out how we can creatively team faculties.”
For the duration of the omicron surge, Jupka reported she labored with the PAC to arrange a team of dad or mum volunteers to aid substitute, fill in at recess, lunch or to give lecturers a crack. Her PAC has also been operating with the Bozeman Schools Basis to start out Undertaking Connect at the elementary amount, wherever qualifications checked adults can volunteer in the faculties.
“I experience like that is a strategic way we can support the school and often just looking through in the hallway with the kid is all they have to have. They just will need that additional examining time and volunteers can unquestionably do that,” Jupka explained.
Jupka mentioned she thinks the consensus system has served the district very well and the several occasions it has not applied the system have resulted in tensions.
“You’re in no way likely to make every person joyful and you are hardly ever going to have a comprehensive consensus but we can work in direction of acquiring the closest one particular that we can by brining all those people stakeholders to the table and listening,” Jupka stated.
Jupka stated her strengths as a prospect are her willingness to function, her skill to value unique views, her openness to interaction and hearing all sides,
“I want to be portion of a team that definitely launches our college district even higher amount, even although we’re presently a really good district,” she reported.
Tanya Reinhardt is managing for her third term on the board, soon after 1st remaining elected six many years back. Reinhardt, who is from Montana, graduated from Montana Condition University on an ROTC scholarship and retired from the U.S. Military immediately after 22 yrs.
“I’m working because I am so passionate about giving excellent schooling prospects for pupils in the Bozeman neighborhood. And I believe that in our instructors and our personnel and our administrators and I want to give them with the assets they want to be effective,” Reinhardt stated.
As a board member, Reinhardt has been associated in the opening of the 2nd substantial university and the district’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though not each conclusion can use the consensus setting up method, she mentioned, she’s witnessed it get the job done effectively when it is used.
“It’s incredibly intensive and will take a great deal of emotional intelligence to be existing in that process and to be individual,” Reinhardt said. “… It makes it possible for everybody’s voice in the area to be read and via that course of action, I believe we do usually come up with the best methods.”
Hunting in advance, the district will be faced with continuing to roll out its early literacy application and making certain it continues to be funded, Reinhardt stated.
“It’s a pretty important challenge for us to be concentrating since we can see if a third grader falls powering in their studying comprehension, it’s very tricky for them to catch again up,” she explained.
The climbing costs in Bozeman will carry on to be an concern the board will need to have to shell out notice to and search for imaginative remedies for, which include doing the job with statewide corporations like the Montana Faculty Board Affiliation, Reinhardt stated.
“Continuing to advocate for community instruction, I believe which is really gong to be a problem as well, is to keep on to generate dwelling the worth of public education in Montana and in particular in Bozeman,” she stated.
Reinhardt claimed she was passionate about public education in Bozeman and advocating for the interests and requirements of the students and staff in the district. By her expertise on the board, she reported, she has discovered that each and every decision the board will make needs to be viewed and thought of for the effect it has on students, lecturers, employees and Bozeman.
“With six yrs on the board, I expended the to start with two many years effortlessly, mastering,” Reinhardt said. “… And I consider the board requires that. We need to have a blend of that knowledge and that knowledge on there, as properly as brining in new people today with new suggestions and electrical power.”
Lisa Weaver mentioned she has realized a great deal about what it normally takes to be a school board member for the past 10 months on the board.
“Our youngsters arrived up by means of the educational institutions and I really feel like the faculties are the heart of the metropolis,” Weaver explained. “It felt like final 12 months the heart was broken a little little bit. There was so substantially division, confusion, heartache, mom and dad upset, little ones upset, and people today pulling in distinct directions. It felt like that was some thing I could enable, as a mediator and conflict mentor.”
Weaver ran for faculty board final Could but missing to Gary Lusin, Douglas Fischer and Lei-Anna Bertelsen. When a emptiness opened up, Weaver was appointed by the Gallatin County superintendent of educational institutions in June 2021 to fill the seat via May perhaps 2022.
The raising price tag of dwelling and retaining academics will be one of the district’s most important issues in the subsequent few decades, Weaver explained.
“With so quite a few people transferring in, the price tag of dwelling has long gone up so substantially and it is building it really challenging for households who are residing in the town,” she mentioned. “Teachers’ salaries are starting to be an even even bigger problem than they now are since instructors really don’t get 3 determine salaries typically.”
Weaver pointed to the sequence of conferences the district administration hosted all around the growth of what was originally called a university student equity policy, as an instance of an tailored consensus system.
“There were being persons from very, very distinct views but to hear them each and every explain to their tale and why they have that standpoint was astounding,” Weaver stated. “(Superintendent Casey Bertram) did a amazing job in getting that plan and remodeling it to say just what we will need to say as a district devoid of any extraneous language that could be bewildered or construed or divisive.”
Weaver stated some of her greatest strengths as a board member are her willingness to get innovative to resolve a difficulty and her advocacy for dad and mom.
“I experience like I advocate for mothers and fathers. I truly feel like which is some thing that I carry uniquely to the board,” she reported. “We all want to do what is finest for the little ones. Which is why we’re all there. And I am absolutely confident of that. Even so, we’re not the gurus on the little ones, their moms and dads are and they need a voice.”
She also said she signifies a different voice on the board than could possibly now be there.
“I experience like I convey a exceptional standpoint that wants to be read. I feel like it resonates with a whole lot of individuals in the neighborhood and I feel like it is genuinely crucial on the school board to have a ton of various voices about the desk,” Weaver said.