School Board: 3 incumbents return to board
All three incumbents on the Brainerd School Board are returning to fill their seats following Tuesday's election. At midnight, with 27 of 39 precincts reporting, the top three vote-getters were incumbents Bob Nystrom, Reed Campbell and Sue Kern. ...
All three incumbents on the Brainerd School Board are returning to fill their seats following Tuesday's election.
At midnight, with 27 of 39 precincts reporting, the top three vote-getters were incumbents Bob Nystrom, Reed Campbell and Sue Kern. Challengers Charles Black Lance and Jeff Czeczok followed in the fourth and fifth spots, respectively.
With 13 of 39 precincts reporting at 10:30 p.m., Nystrom carried 24 percent of the vote. As of midnight, with 27 of 39 precincts reporting, he had 8,380 votes. He said he felt good about the outcome and it represents the comfort voters have with how the school district is won.
"We have a world-class district and people recognize that and appreciate the job we do as a board and how we run the district," Nystrom said.
Two notable challenges facing the district in the coming years include balancing the budget and the long-range comprehensive facilities plan. Nystrom said he feels the top priority for the district is maintaining the quality of district programs and giving students the best education possible.
"I'm going to work as hard as I can to keep up the educational quality we've had in the past," Nystrom said.
With 14 of 39 precincts reporting at 10:45 p.m., Campbell carried 23 percent of the vote. As of midnight, with 27 of 39 precincts reporting, he had 8,027 votes. He said he felt pretty humbled and honored to be re-elected to his fourth term on the school board.
"I'll promise to do my best to represent the constituents of the district in making decisions to keep our district one of the top in the state," Campbell said.
Campbell feels good about his experience on the board and how it will serve the board as it navigates budget, funding and facilities issues, he said.
"Our new superintendent can help guide us through those things, but it boils down to us as the board to make the final decisions," Campbell said.
With 27 of 39 precincts reporting at midnight, Kern had 6,704 votes. Upon being told she was likely returning to the school board, she said it felt wonderful and she was very thankful and grateful to the voters who voted for her.
"I'm humbled," Kern said. "I'm living the dream."
The school board has its work cut out for it when it comes to balancing the budget and putting together a long-range comprehensive facilities plan, Kern said. But the board is going to watch how the district spends money and continue to look in more detail at the long-range comprehensive facilities plan, she said.
Charles Black Lance fell short of his goal, but he said he is interested in running again and building trust throughout the district.
"It's not what were were hoping for in terms of results but definitely we made some improvements in terms of name recognition in the Brainerd School District," Black Lance said. "It definitely gives us something to build on two years from now."
With the strong showing of incumbents, Black Lance said they just need to keep moving forward to gain name recognition. On the night of the election, Black Lance said there are always thoughts of what if.
"But ultimately there is only so much time in the day," Black Lance said, adding with young children at home extra time can be a challenge. "I feel good about our showing and support we had in the community."
Black Lance, 44, is currently the director of TRIO programs at Central Lakes College.
With 28 of 39 precincts reporting at 12:15 a.m., Czeczok had 4,940 votes. He said he didn't see any miracles on the horizon and wasn't likely to win a seat on the school board. He entered the race to bring awareness to how Islam is taught in Brainerd Public Schools, he said, and he believes he's accomplished that goal.
"It's important for people to review the information their kids are getting to study," Czeczok said.