Candidate Profiles: Cromwell-Wright School Boardcromwell-wright school board, district No. 95 (3 seats) Walter Collman • Angela Lind Anderson • Tim Hakamaki • Steve Risacher • Lance Line
Question 1. How does your past experience, job or education qualify you to serve on the Cromwell-Wright School Board?
Question 2. Pick one single priority item that you believe would improve the Cromwell-Wright Public Schools in the most meaningful way. What would it be and why?
Question 3. Other than finding greater efficiencies, what areas would you look to trim first if there are unexpected budget deficits?
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. I am currently self-employed with my own Accounting/Payroll/Tax
I feel that my experience in Accounting and Finance would be a tremendous asset to our school district and look forward to being given the opportunity to help in any way I can. I have been attending all regular school board meetings since March and have been paying close attention to the
issues that our district is
A top priority for me would be to improve the communications and interactions between our board members, administration, teachers, parents, and community. Thoughts, ideas, and opinions should not only be allowed, but encouraged. It is important that everyone work together to provide the best possible education for each and every student. Working together is crucial for our school if we are to continue to excel.
Without specific information, this is very difficult to answer accurately. Some steps I would take during that decision-making process would be: Determine how much we need to trim; examine how much is being spent on current programs; discuss with teachers, administration, and parents to find out where their priorities lie; consider the consequences of those decisions; and lastly make the best decision possible after taking all of the above info into account.
I graduated from Wright Elementary and Cromwell High School. I earned a degree in
Industrial Technology at UMD. I’ve been on Cromwell-Wright’s School Board for four years, three as an officer. Currently, I’m serving on the Negotiating and the Meet and Confer Committees. I attended many conferences and seminars, and have never missed a Board meeting. For 25 years, I’ve been employed at Diamond Match as a mechanic. Our community’s youth need to get the best start they can. If reelected, I will work to provide all of our students with the curriculum choices and programs they need, while keeping a close eye on the budget.
Keeping enrollment numbers up is critical for the future. The funding that open enrollment students bring is very important to our district. The school needs a wide variety of courses, programs, extra-curricular activities, and sports to draw them in. Open enrollment helps keep these choices and opportunities available for all of our students. Cromwell-Wright’s students deserve a safe, fun, positive, and well-balanced learning environment that teaches good study habits, discipline, and self-regulation. The school has great programs, from Early Childhood Family Education to College in the Schools. I would not only like to see continuous improvement in our existing programs, but to add more. For example, I want more learning opportunities and better preparation for students who will go directly to work after graduation, and for those who will pursue a two-year Degree or obtain a Certificate.
The school is already running efficiently. The General Fund, which by law pays most salaries and benefits, is of greatest concern. Any cuts to staffing would negatively impact students and may cause some to leave the district. That would lead to less funding, further compounding the problem. The school must do its best to keep enrollment up.
My current and past duties that would assist me while serving on the School Board include: I’ve served as President of Fire/EMS at Sansio in Duluth, Minn. over the last 15 years. In that role I’m responsible for the financial management/budgeting, staff oversight (70 professional employees), marketing and sales oversight, planning, directing, and coordinating application design, development, and implementation of software. I also have six years of post-secondary education.
Assuming that the Cromwell [-Wright?] School continues to be financially stable and the major funding sources don’t change significantly; a priority for me would be to improve education with technology. We need to keep introducing our students to the advances in technology, as research clearly indicates that the effective use of technology can result in higher levels of learning. Technology can be a learning tool that can be student centric which can open up several opportunities for students with additional needs.
My goal would be to understand the impacts to the future budgets as they are being discussed at the district, state, and federal level so that we can make slow gradual changes rather than huge changes all at once (avoid the unexpected when possible). In the current reimbursement structure, the revenue side only contains a relatively small number of funding sources (local, state, and federal funds) that need to be carefully/proactively monitored for potential impactful changes.
If a budget deficit did sneak up on the school and changes needed to be made, we would need to make sure that the “essential core programs” are protected; all other things would need to be considered, hopefully with community involvement and what is important to them.
I’m a United States Army Veteran and a member of the Carpenters Local. I worked in the carpentry field for over 25 years, starting in the apprenticeship program and working my way up to superintendent. I’m currently employed by North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, which involves working with the Carpenters Local 361 Union and Membership, Contractors, Developers and end users. This employment allows me to serve on several boards and hold several elected positions.
One of the priorities would be to keep class sizes down. The class size needs to be kept at a manageable level to ensure a good learning environment for our children.