Budget, buildings spark interest in G-E board seats

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 27, 2002

With only three seats open and seven candidates, the Glenville-Emmons school board elections are bound to be interesting.

Jeff Baumann, Tammy Cech, Karen Hansen, Michael Hansen, Terry Thorson and Carmen Yost are all newcomers looking to get onto the board. Steve Heideman is the only board member seeking reelection.

Current board members Mike Bjorklund and Joanne Brackey are not running.

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Heideman, a Glenville-area farmer, has spent two terms on the board. He said he is running again for many reasons. &uot;In the next two to five years there will have to be a lot of serious decisions for the Glenville-Emmons district in order to make it stay viable,&uot; he said.

Heideman said giving students more educational opportunities, possibly closing a building, and trying to maintain an &uot;efficient budget&uot; are some of the issues he thinks the board will have to face.

Newcomer Tammy Cech, of Glenville, is a sales representative with Kraft foods, and has three children, two of them in district schools. &uot;I am concerned about the academic curriculum at the senior high,&uot; she said. &uot;They need more of a variety of elective courses.&uot;

Another concern for Cech is the school budget. &uot;We need to take a closer look at what our money is being spent on,&uot; she said. &uot;Cuts have to be made so that they aren’t going to affect the education of students.&uot;

Jeff Baumann, of Emmons, is also new to school politics; he became interested because he has children who go to district schools. &uot;I’d like to take a more active role in their education and future.&uot;

Bauman said he has two main issues. &uot;I’d like to maintain our quality level of education while keeping the district within its financial means. The biggest thing I’d like to do is bring more of a united effort amongst the district and encourage unity,&uot; he said.

Baumann said that there has been a division between Emmons and Glenville that shouldn’t be.

&uot;The children had no problems with the consolidation. The only problems that we are having are with the parents,&uot; he said. Baumann hopes that differences can be set aside to focus on education.

Another newcomer is Karen Hansen, of Glenville. She is a mother of four, three of whom attend school in the district.

Hansen said she has concerns about the budget. &uot;This district needs to make cuts in its overhead (meaning building and administrative costs) and put money back into students,&uot; she said.

&uot;I’m concerned about how grades have been shifted to different buildings. I think that the number of students we have today doesn’t warrant having three buildings,&uot; Hansen said.

She said she thinks the Emmons junior high school, which houses grades four through eight, should be closed and those grades should be put into the Glenville elementary and high schools.

&uot;Glenville is geographically and demographically in the center of this district,&uot; she said.

The board election is Nov. 5 on the general election ballot in the Glenville district.