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Candidate Profile: Bob Hermanson

Darlington School Board

There are five candidates, Donna Jean Wiegel, Aaron Wolfe, Matt Crist, Joe Riechers and Bob Hermanson, running for three spots on the board. Wolfe and Riechers are incumbents.

Position Sought: Darlington Community school board

City/town of residence: Darlington

Family: Corey Hermanson, 25; Chayse Hermanson, 22; Cashton Hermanson, 18

Education: High School

Occupation: Farming, employed by Red Rock View Farms, owned by Steve and Lisa Carpenter

Previous elected positions held: Currently supervisor for Fayette township; currently on the Rural Medical ambulance Service Board; currently on the Darlington Fire department board; served on the Darlington Community school board from 2005 till 2013; served on the CESA 3 Board from 2008 till 2013

What are the top issues facing this /municipality and how would you work to resolve it?

Budget - Budget is always a concern with the state and federal dollars always changing year to year. Find new revenue sources through grants and by becoming more flexible with federal dollars. Make cuts when possible but while still protecting what is in the best interest for the kids, staff, the taxpayers and the school district. Making cuts is not always easy or popular but sometimes they have to be made. A school district only has so much money to work with so you have to spend it wisely and make every dollar work for you.

Maintaining a strong fund balance - A strong fund balance allows the district not to have to short-term borrow during the year to cover bills. When a school district has to short-term borrow to cover its bill during the year, that's taking money away from district that could better spent in other areas. A strong balance maintains a strong credit rating when you do have to borrow and allows the district to cover unexpected expenses when they arise. To maintain a strong fund balance you must be able to make tough decision that sometimes are not popular but must be made to protect what is in the best interest of the district.

Keeping current staff and attracting qualified new staff - We as board need to work with staff and the community to make Darlington community school district a place they want to stay and teach and a district that new teachers want to come to teach.

Curriculum - Maintaining a high level of curriculum by monitoring our current curriculum and making changes to the curriculum that helps are students become college or career ready. Provide more chance for are students to earn credits towards a college degree.

What are other key issues facing the district/ municipality, and how would you work to resolve them?

Facility use assessment study - The board hired a firm last fall to do assessment of the elementary-middle school and high school buildings for their physical condition. The study also addressed space concerns and future needs of the district. A study that I think was well worth time and money because of the way education has changed over the last over the last 10 years through what is mandated by the federal and state government. Also the introduction of more technology every year into the district and the way have to teach to prepare our kids for the future. It would be unfair of me to commit on the study because I don't have enough information on the study yet but how we proceeded needs to have students, staff and public input. We must proceeded carefully with any plan so that we don't lose focus that are first goal is to teach and prepare are kids for the future. We all like to have shiny new buildings and toys but we cannot risk our kids' future and the district future by unsound financial decisions. Whatever direction the board goes must be both practical and financially sound to protect the future of the district.

The image of public education - We need to fight for our local rural schools and public education against those people who would like to privatizes our schools. The privatizing of our public education system would not only take away are local control and would put our kids at disadvantage and I believe this is wrong and that's why I would fight to keep are public education strong. There are also those people who believe we should combine are small rural schools into one large school and again I could not more strongly disagree with these people. There is a lot to be said for our rural schools. Our local schools gives are students more opportunities than some bigger schools and its great for our small communities. This is why I would fight to keep our local schools.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I feel that I am the best candidate for the Darlington school board because of my experience as a board member through the different boards that I serve on. I feel like I am good candidate because of my time commitments and listening skills. I feel it is important to attend all meetings, workshops and the state convention to become better informed to what is happening in education and to become a better board member. I willing to make the tough decisions and ask the question that need to be asked to make the best decision for our district. I would be a good steward of the taxpayer dollars by spending money on only those things that would be good sound investment for the district.