Five file for A.L. school board seats

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 26, 2006

By Kari Lucin, staff writer

Five people have filed for election to the two open seats on the Albert Lea school board. A primary election will now be on Sept. 12 for school board members.

Incumbent Jolinda Schreiber, who co-owns two tax and accounting firms in Albert Lea, is running for a second term. After four years of serving on the board, she feels she has the experience and passion for children to make her time on the board count. She said she and the current board have been focusing on student achievement goals in the last four years.

&8220;Serving on the school board was just a different way of serving the community and I still love it, I still have a passion for it,&8221; Schreiber said. &8220;It’s always a challenge when you have declining enrollment and decreasing funds.&8221;

Jill Marin is a licensed minister who assists her husband George Marin at Grace Christian Church and also serves as a chaplain at Fountain Centers. She said she wants to focus on improving Southwest Middle School, where kids struggle with academics and life changes alike, and can fall behind. One of Marin’s two children attends Southwest Middle School and the other attends Sibley Elementary School.

&8220;I’ve been happy with the school board’s performance in the past,&8221; Marin said. &8220;I do know that there are some hard times coming down the road. I believe in having excellent schools, in fiscal responsibility and in planning for the future.&8221;

Corey Wittmer, a senior depot repair technician at Dataradio in Waseca, has a 3-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter. He wants to give something back to the community and do something that will help impact his kids’ education. Wittmer had some hearing loss as a child, and said the school district was really good to him, adding that he wants to make sure that it stays that way.

&8220;I know the budget is the one that everyone is kind of concerned about, what needs to be cut, what’s going to be done to make ends meet for the school district,&8221; Wittmer said.

Sally Ehrhardt is a homemaker, but she also works part-time at Birds and Beads and does computer testing for the school district three times a year. Her son goes to Lakeview Elementary School. Ehrhardt is proud of the way the district has handled itself financially so far, and she believes one of the most important issues the board will face will be keeping its head above water financially.

&8220;I don’t think change is really my objective,&8221; Ehrhardt said. &8220;I like what I see, I like the positive atmosphere at the schools. Our board has been fiscally responsible, we just want to continue the work that’s been done.&8221;

Theodore Paulson is studying to be an electrician at Riverland Community College. One of his children attends Hawthorne Elementary School and the other goes to Headstart. Paulson said he has been trying to get the city of Albert Lea to ban sex offenders from school property, but the city decided against it. Paulson heard there was a city in northern Minnesota where a school board had succeeded in that goal.

&8220;I thought maybe I could do it here,&8221; Paulson said. &8220;I’ve been talking to people to see what the real concerns have been besides my issue.&8221;