1. Why are you running for office at this time?
2. What skills and strengths do you bring to the school board and district? What should people know about you and your qualifications for this office?
3. What makes you most proud of the school district?
4. What do you feel are the top three challenges for the district today, and how would you suggest resolving them?
5. What do you believe should be top spending priorities for the district’s limited funds?
BOARD MEMBER (3 four-year terms) with 3 candidates:
Jay Brovold (incumbent), Lisa Ludwig (incumbent), and Julie Wendroth
REFERENDUM QUESTION (see page 19)
Julie Wendroth (4 years)
1. To work with our communities and to focus on what is best for our students and be sure that the education in our local public schools meets expectations.
2. I understand the impact of the board, not only as a homeowner but as a former student. I grew up here and we have a son currently attending EV-W. My life was shaped and improved by the teachers I had, students I interacted with, and quality of programs that were available to me in this school.
And now I want to give back to the district that gave so much to me. I want to be a part of a school board that will lift the quality of education available to all our students, and I want the community to be involved in that process, every step of the way.
3. We have a good reputation for our high academic, arts and athletics. We truly care about each student.
4. a. Our facilities, as good as we take care of them, they are old, and we need to continue to take care of them. Continuing to manage our budget will help us continue to maintain all our facilities.
b. Managing our budgets, with less and less help from the state, schools all over really need to watch every penny spent. I would help in keeping a sound budget.
c. Being vigilant of any bullying that might be happening. The internet now is the place for children and teens to communicate and share moments with their peers. While it can be a positive place for students to interact, the rise of technology has also led to a new and serious form of bullying. We need to be the people showing positive adult role modeling, mentoring, at home and in the community and reinforce positive relationships and behaviors for them to look to.
5. Academics and programming. Ultimately, we are here for the students, to help them the best we can to prepare them for their future. We want them to graduate and be the best people they can be in their professions as well as their everyday lives.
Lisa Ludwig (4 years)
1. I feel it is important to have a school board that is passionate about the district and wants to continue to improve upon what past stakeholders have built up.
2. I have previously worked for the district and continue to work as an educator. I know the importance of community involvement and having a good relationship with all of the people involved in running a school district. I am familiar with the importance of all aspects of education and bring that to the table at every board meeting. I have four children who are current students at Eden Valley-Watkins which means that I am invested in the success of the district.
3. I am most proud of how the two communities and the surrounding areas come together to invest in the future of the students and the schools in the district. The communities have always been supportive of the different programs and activities that the students are involved in. It truly takes a village to raise children and we have that in these communities.
4. a. At this time, the safety of the students is a top priority for me. With secure entrances being proposed at the elementaries and an improved drop-off and pick-up for students along with the improved safety measures put in place at the football field, these are all ways to reach the goal of increased safety. If the referendum passes Nov. 6, we can continue to increase the safety of all students and staff in the district.
b. The next challenge is the state of the buildings in the district. The infrastructure, including the plumbing, electrical, roofs, HVAC systems, all need upgrades. Just as we need to maintain our homes and vehicles, we also need to maintain our school buildings. The buildings are in need of upgrades and repairs which is also part of the November referendum. By voting for the referendum, these much needed repairs will be addressed. It is better to be proactive with the repairs instead of reactive in which case any major breakdowns occur in the buildings, it could impact student learning.
c. Another challenge is that we are a small rural district with limited funds in comparison to other districts in Minnesota. We need to have continued growth in the community in order to increase the funding to the district. Attracting new businesses and supporting the businesses that are here are ways to do that.
5. At this time, maintaining our facilities and providing students with excellent opportunities for an education and extra-curriculars are the top priorities. The staff at EV-W have always been wonderful in providing the students with not only a great education but a caring and welcoming environment.
Nathaniel “Jay” Brovold (4 years)
1. I believe it is important to be involved in our community and ensure our school district continues to provide all we can to help our youth succeed. Serving on the school board provides an opportunity to share ideas and input to continue the tradition of excellence at EVW.
2. I have been in law enforcement for 22 years. Good communication, problem solving and collaborating with others to accomplish goals are some of my strengths. It is very important we work together as a community on issues involving our youth. For over twenty years I have been involved with youth development in various ways. I spent five years teaching 5th grade students in the St. Cloud area as part of the D.A.R.E program. As a police liaison at South Jr. High and Tech High School in St. Cloud, I worked with youth and their families on a regular basis and spent time mentoring and guiding kids through life’s challenges. As part of the police activities league I worked with a large number of at risk youth, and interacted with them providing a positive environment and guidance to help them make wise choices. I have also lectured and instructed a large number of students on personal safety, at risk behaviors, the importance of strong values and personal development. I have also instructed and lectured to college students for the past ten years on various law enforcement related topics.
3. The genuine care, kindness, and respect shown by our students and staff, and the commitment of our community to the success of our district. Of course I am proud of the academic and extracurricular accomplishments but most proud of the people that make all of this possible.
4. a. Safety and security of our students, staff and guests. Our administration, staff, school board and community have worked diligently to draft proposals to enhance the safety and security of our buildings and update key areas of the 1927 portion of our high school. Voters will have an opportunity to support these much needed issues by voting in favor of these improvements on Nov. 6.
b. Improvement of aged areas within our existing buildings. We have sound structures, but within our high school we have portions over 90 years old. We need to address those older areas, while the structure itself is still sound, and update where necessary. Voters will have an opportunity to support these much needed issues by voting in favor of these improvements on Nov. 6.
c. Retention and recruitment of qualified staff. We are fortunate to have excellent staff in our district, we need to keep them. Many districts, including EV-W, are faced with a challenge in recruiting new staff as retirements or changes occur. We have to be as competitive as we can while being fiscally responsible. Communication with our staff and community on these issues is critical.
5. My priorities were addressed in the previous question. We have great students, great staff and a community that supports our district. Safety and security of our staff and students, retention and recruitment of excellent staff, and addressing areas within our facilities that can be modified and updated while the structure itself is still sound, would be my top priorities. We have done well academically, and with our extracurricular programs, and need to continue the good work.