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Candidate Profile: Matt Crist

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 school board

Age: 38

City/town of residence: Darlington

Family: Wife, Cindy Crist. Children: Ross, 8; Kylie, 7; and Ryker, 4

Education: Associate degree from MATC in Business and Marketing. 1995 graduate of Darlington High School.

Occupation: I have been with Frontier FS in Darlington since 2001. From 2001-2013 I was an Energy Sales Specialist. Starting in 2013 (through the present) I transferred to the Crop Management/Sales position. I also am a partner with my brothers in our farming operation which runs 1250 acres of cropland along with 250 head of beef cows.

Previous elected positions held: I haven't held an elected position but I look forward to representing my community within this position.

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

I believe one of the top issues facing our school board is the decrease in funding from the state level. There is not an easy-fix to this issue but the reality is that is isn't going away anytime soon. The school board needs to continue creating smart action plans and strategies. There really isn't a single solution but the goal must be to create an environment that gives our students the best opportunities for success in academics, extra-curricular activities, and post-graduation plans.

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

There are many other small and large issues facing our district. As a whole, I believe our present board members are making good, calculated decisions. In order to continue to make positive changes and decisions, open communication at all times must be a priority. We need to remember that opinions from all levels really do matter. Listening to students, faculty, staff, parents, and board members and getting their perspectives on issues is a necessary component to a healthy and successful school system. A well-run school board understands that each opinion matters whether it is voiced from a teacher, a student, or a taxpayer.

Why are you the best candidate for this office?

I feel I am qualified for the Darlington school board because of my leadership ability and my experience with working with people on a daily basis. I understand hard work does pay off. I believe in the team concept and believe in setting goals and achieving them. I am proud to say I am a Redbird. I want my children, students, and staff to feel the same way for many years to come.