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Brainerd School Board

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(3 seats)

Reed A. Campbell

Age: 56

Current employment: Executive vice president American National Bank Minnesota—Baxter Office

Public office experience: Elected to two four-year terms on the Brainerd School Board

What makes you the most qualifed candidate for the post you’re seeking?:

I believe the experience gained and the commitment I’ve shown during these last nine years, qualifies me for another term on the Brainerd School Board.

I am a graduate of BHS as are my four children and I have the passion to ensure that the quality education produced by District 181 continues.

I am connected to the Brainerd lakes community with over 37 years of local banking experience. I received the 2003 Citizen of the Year award. I volunteer for Camp Confidence, Sertoma and St. Andrews Church.

I would be honored to serve and share theses qualities for another term.

Randy J. Heidmann

Age: 61

Current employment: Retirement Plan Consultant, Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Public Office experience: None

What makes you the most qualified candidate for the post you’re seeking?:

Becoming an effective school board member takes time and this will happen through training and experience, believing otherwise is not realistic. I like be challenged. Secondly, I am not a “yes” man, rather I view myself as a “why” person. I ask questions, trying to understand other points of view and once I have the necessary facts I make decisions. I will support final outcomes regardless of my position. Finally, I bring 32 years of experience working in the adult education industry within the private sector.

Bill Cruz

Age: 47 years old

Current Employer: Adirondack Coffee of Nisswa

Public Office Experience: None, but plenty of experience serving my community.

What makes me the most qualified candidate?:

I’m a life-long educator of children, being a father of five children ranging in age of 30 years old to 12 years old. I’m also a father of a special needs child and understand fully how special education serves its students and their families. I’m also an advocate for those children served in special ed, as an educational assistant/para educator working in the public school environment for the past seven years, five of those years working for ISD 181. And finally, I’m a student of education, finishing my second year at Central Lakes College where I am a full-time student.

Sue Kern

Age: 56

Occupation: Bookkeeper for Kern’s Appliance, Century 21, Kern Apartments and other rental properties

What makes me the most qualified candidate?:

I have a heart for children and a desire to see them well educated and taught good  values. I am a conservative and capable of making sound right decisions and work well with others. I am a mother of three, two BHS graduates and one who is currently a freshman at South Campus. Born and raised in Brainerd (maiden name of Osell) and a BHS graduate, 1974.  My education is that of a registered nurse but currently working as bookkeeper/accountant for three of our businesses and other people’s rental properties. I have worked as treasurer for Lakes’ Area Women’s Connection. 

Kari Green

Age: 41

Current employment: Small business owner/ personal care assistant

What makes you the best qualified candidate for the post you’re seeking?:

I have raised five children three of which have graduated the 181 school district, worked with adolescent children in several different facilities. Cared for children of families with special needs. Love to work with people and work well under stressful situation. Solving issues at hand will be a team effort, and requires the help of those who can give sound guidance. I have worked with many incredible people and love to work as a team. These are all qualifications that  will benefit me to work for this community on the school board.

Sally Jacobsen

Age: 53

Current employment: Substitute teacher District #181, legal office assistant

What makes you the most qualified candidate for the post you’re seeking?:

I value education. I have a B.A. from St. Olaf College and additional education coursework at Augsburg College.  As a substitute teacher for the past 12 years, I am uniquely qualified because I know the challenges that face the children and teachers everyday. I have extensive volunteer experience with Habitat for Humanity, League of Women Voters, Lord of Life Lutheran, and other nonprofits. My husband, Paul, and I, made sure that our children (Lissie, Peter, and Luke) took advantage of Brainerd’s excellence in academics, sports, and music. I want the same opportunities for all future students.  For more information:

Bob Nystrom

Age: 55

Current employment: Pharmacist at  Nystrom Thrifty-White Drug in Brainerd

Public office experience: Eight years previous experience on the Brainerd School Board

What makes you the most qualified candidate for the post you’re seeking?:

The children of the Brainerd community deserve every advantage our schools can provide. Generations of my family graduated from Brainerd High School as have my three children and I want to continue the tradition of excellence. My eight years on the school board provided quite an education as we met the challenges of shrinking budgets and growing needs. I owned and operated Nystrom Drug for l5 years and was able to bring business experience to the school board’s finance committee as well as the other five committees I served on. We must continue to lead with passion and purpose.

Bob Passi

Age: 71

Current employment: Retired educator and empowerment consultant

Public office experience: None

What makes you the most qualified candidate for the post you’re seeking?: First is my unqualified belief in public education as the very basis of a strong community and a healthy democracy.

My assets are my educational background and my broad experience being connected directly and indirectly with education on many levels and in many locations for most of my life.

My communications skills and problem solving experience working within groups should be helpful in resolving the issues that arise.

I think I could be helpful representing the funding needs with the Legislature.

Finally, I am now retired and would like to give back to the public schools of this country.

Bruce McComas

Age:  65

Current Employment: Retired

Public Office Experience: Numerous civic organizations, no political positions

Why are you the most qualified candidate for the post you’re seeking?:

I believe the assets that I can bring to the School Board include 41 years of experience in the education field.  I have been a teacher and varsity coach for 19 years, Business Director in two school districts for 18 years, and ran School Management Solutions [consulting firm] for 4 years. I have a passion for education along with the experience, knowledge and time needed to be a contributing member of the board.  Having been involved in the decision-making process of school districts from all sides, I have a vast network of resources that I can call upon if needed.

Maurice Olson

Age: 68

Current employment: Retired, full-time artist.

Public office experience: None

What makes you the most qualified candidate for the post you are seeking? (100 words or less): Dedicating my life to public service has always been an honor  and privilege. If possible, I would like to serve this community again as a school bard member. Working together as a team, we can bring School District 181 into a new age of diversified learning experiences, creating achievement portfolios that wil help guide students into the future. If elected I wil be a public voice and student curriculum advocate. Hopefully you will hear my call and elect me to the board of education.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889