2022 Esko School Board candidate: Rich Kresky

"I am running for the Esko School Board because it’s time for me to give back from my knowledge and especially school/college related experiences," Kresky writes.

Rich Kresky
Contributed / Rich Kresky
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Editor's note: This questionnaire was edited for grammar and style.

Age: A young 68 years of age.

Family: My wife and I purchased our home in Esko 37 years ago. We have three adult children and two grandchildren.

Occupation: This is my 31st year of teaching within the integrated manufacturing-engineering CAD technology program at Lake Superior College.

Community service involvement: I have been an Esko little league baseball volunteer coach when my boys were of age. Our local youth are great! I have also had direct and indirect community involvement as associated with my profession and ties to LSC. This includes attracting folks into the engineering field and helping local industries acquire needed employees.


Previous experience in elected office: This is my first time running for an elected office.

Why are you running for office?

I am running for the Esko School Board because it’s time for me to give back from my knowledge and especially school/college related experiences. I am originally from Duluth and have lived in Esko with my family since 1985. I attended DTC (now Lake Superior College) and graduated with a degree in mechanical drafting and design. Afterwords I attended UMD to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. After about two years in this pursuit I was offered a very good job locally within the field and accepted it.

"Service to others is a core value that was instilled in me during my time in the Air Force and I have carried it with me. I view being a member of the school board as an opportunity to serve the community, our teaching staff and our children," writes John Feely.
"I would like the opportunity to serve on the Esko School Board to give back to the community that prepared me for a successful future. I was fortunate enough to grow up in Esko attending K-12, graduating in 2007," Johnson writes.
"Esko is one of the best districts in the state of Minnesota. A key reason is the parents and families who live here. We are devoted to our kids. Our stands are regularly full for sporting events, and regularly have full sidelines at away tournaments. However, our school board meetings and academic interest has room for improvement," Kurhajetz writes.
"I am an Esko resident, a husband, and a father to twins that entered second grade this year. I am passionate about our community and want to take on greater responsibility for ensuring the success of the next generation, including my own children," Nyholm writes.
"I’m running for my third term with the same focus I ran on eight years ago. I want to ensure that we maintain a fiscally responsible district and continue to be a performance leader in the region and state, through thoughtful planning, spending and adapting to prepare our students for tomorrow," Rengo writes.
"I chose to run again because I care about our community, our faculty, staff and our students. Education has been my passion my entire career," Sunnarborg writes.

I had been working as an engineering (CAD) technician full-time for many years before becoming a full-time faculty member at LSC. I very much enjoy teaching students (with current curriculum) and seeing them succeed. After LSC many students may be getting their first real job after flipping burgers.

What are the biggest challenges you see facing the community?

For Esko schools, it’s community growth. Currently that includes student growth also, but demographics do change. This should be looked at with both short- and long-term visions.

Additionally, many schools also have challenges with ongoing technical advances and safety/security issues. Budgets are always tight; we must use our money and current resources wisely. Music, sports, general academics, and industrial technology are doing well. Industrial technology could grow. I do have Esko graduates in my classes at LSC, and they perform very well.

Esko school seems to always be buzzing, and it does have a very good reputation in the region. I will want advice from others as to what could use improvement and in what priority order.


If elected, how would you work to address those issues?

First of all, I must recognize and listen to all who are invested — administrators, teachers, other school board members, parents, students, and district #99 taxpayers.

As a member of the board, I will be involved in discussions and decisions regarding budgets, curriculum, space utilization, policies and operational logistics. I do know of how much teachers and administrators want to improve their educational offerings and how little time they have to do it all. I will be tapping into my school/college experiences as a potential benefit to Esko schools.

What successes do you hope to build on if elected?

As a full-time faculty member of LSC, my duties include working with other college faculty, administrators, support staff, and industry advisors. I also coordinate efforts with regional middle school, high schoo, and college folks as necessary. I develop course and program curriculum and revise it when needed to keep current with our local industry. They hire our program graduates. Our CAD software is always evolving, and I must keep current with it. We teach four different software packages. We must run our program within budget. I teach a diverse group of students; PSEO, recent high school grads from many regional schools and adults of various ages and experiences. LSC has gone through some internal physical changes and remodeling of which I have been involved.

My strength is in career and technical education. I would like to work with Esko’s Industrial Technology department to fulfill its current goal to enhance the trades.

I want to work with curriculum development and articulation partnerships between local schools and colleges. Curriculum should continually be reviewed and updated as needed for currency. Articulation partnerships give students a variety of subject choices and avenues to further advanced education.

I also would like to work on building and classroom layouts as needs change, this includes equipment and furnishings. I will help our Esko School District in any way I can.

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