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Voter's Guide: Wadena-Deer Creek School District

Wadena-Deer Creek School Board (Elect 3) Ryan Damlo Age: 36. Employment: Foundation executive director at Tri-County Health Care, Wadena. Public office experience: None. What do you want to accomplish if elected? I want to focus on students, fami...

Becca Grieger
Becca Grieger

Wadena-Deer Creek School Board (Elect 3)

Ryan Damlo

Age: 36.

Employment: Foundation executive director at Tri-County Health Care, Wadena.

Public office experience: None.

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What do you want to accomplish if elected? I want to focus on students, families and serving our communities. A priority of mine will be focusing on the right resources and tools for our staff to make our district inclusive for all of our students. I will focus on areas like STEM, mental health and growing WDC.

Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I would continue to find ways to help move the district forward. Last year, I worked with NJPA (now Sourcewell) to get Wi-Fi on three activity buses for WDC. This year, I helped direct money for mental health needs in the school district and community by working with community groups like the Lions and Rotary to facilitate the Splash Out Stigma Duck Drop. I will also focus on retaining top staff and help with continuing to grow enrollment by continuing to be an active community ambassador. I will be a bridge and voice between the communities and school.

What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I am an active parent in the community and serve Wadena in many areas. I am the Cubmaster for our pack, teaching young Scouts how to serve. I am the Lions president, focusing on serving the people and groups of our communities. I serve on the WDC Community Education Committee, Wadena Housing Authority and St. Ann's Springfest Committee. I am detail-oriented when working with budgets and policy making. I am very passionate and dedicated to our communities and school district. I want to focus on our students, as I have two young children that are growing up Wolverines.

Becca Grieger

Age: 31.

Employment: Nurse.

Public office experience: None.

What do you want to accomplish if elected? There are many variables affecting today's students in becoming successful. For instance, the increase of student stress to balance school, activities and extracurriculars has become overwhelming, leading to achievement gaps. If elected, I would like to close the gaps, enhance resiliency and empower students.

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Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? One step at a time. Beginning with opening the communication lines. By listening to students, teachers, parents and community members perspective on where the downfall is occurring. Identifying the weakness and strengths of the core curriculum will enable us to make appropriate changes where needed and build up WDC's school strengths. Everything takes time, but when the community stands together towards common goals everyone benefits.

What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I am ambitious and always eager to learn, and give it my best. Growing up in Wadena, I've learned the value of living in a small town. When given the opportunity to return to Wadena, my husband and I were thrilled to move our family back to the area. I am passionate about WDC's future and strive to be involved with the decision-making process to improve our schools and students' successes. If elected as a school board member, I will devote my time, enthusiasm and robust attitude to advocate for the valued individuals of WDC community whose opinion matters.

Peter Hayes

Did not respond.

Tammy Kircher

Age: 39.

Employment: Mahube-Otwa Community Action Partnership - Wadena Office.

Public office experience: None.

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What do you want to accomplish if elected? I hope to build a strong relationship with the school district, working together to better the environment for all our students. My main objectives are to acquire handicap playground equipment and work with the food program to help reach their goals of serving healthy lunches and snacks for all students.

Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I plan to research fundraising options for handicap playground equipment that would be accessible at both buildings. I also want to explore creative ways of providing healthy snacks for students when grants are not awarded. I would like to work with local businesses to organize volunteer opportunities for the students to help learn about a possible career choice, while giving back to the community. I hope to hear from teachers to get their perspective on what they feel is needed for our students, i.e. in-depth financial classes, additional language options, more teaching opportunities for healthy living choices, etc.

What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? We have three children in the school district, along with past employment working with young children and students, has allowed me to witness and interact with other students and parents regarding their struggles or ideas for the school. I have a strong passion to support our students in succeeding to the best of their ability. Assisting future graduates so they feel they have all the tools needed to join the workforce or continue their education. In order to do this, we need to think outside of the box and not be afraid to fail until we find what works best.

Kevin Klawitter

Age: 27.

Employment: Seasons Adult Foster Care.

Public office experience: None.

What do you want to accomplish if elected? I want to expand and enforce anti-bullying policies and encourage greater student advocacy in order to ensure nobody's ability to learn is compromised by fear of being targeted for abuse. I also want to ensure teachers are compensated for the important work they do through fair and competitive salaries.

Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I intend to communicate directly with students, teachers and administrators to find areas where they think improvements can be made and advocate for better policy accordingly. I want to break the sense of complacency built up around bullying by creating avenues for victims of bullying to tell their stories without fear of reprisal. If I find there are issues I encounter that can't be solved by the school board, I will work with the proper officials at the city, state and federal level until I get the answers I am looking for.

What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I grew up in the Wadena-Deer Creek school system. My father, Craig Klawitter, taught at WDC for 35 years and raised me to both respect the school and always be aware of the ways in which it can be improved. I've built relationships with faculty and staff through the years as both a student and family friend so I can engage with them on multiple levels. I also spent three years working in the children and families division of Northern Pines Mental Health, giving me unique insight into the minds of students and capacity for effective teamwork in solving problems.

Ann Pate

Age: 59.

Employment: Grant writer and reading coach.

Public office experience: Member of the school board for 15 years.

What do you want to accomplish if elected? No answer.

Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? No answer.

What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I have been a volunteer at the Wadena Food Shelf for many years. I help with different activities such as Princess Warrior Relay for Life Run and other community activities throughout the year annually in Wadena. I have a four-year University of Montana degree in business through the school of forestry. I bring years of experience and diplomacy and budget and education understanding for the WDC No. 2155 School District.

Melissa Seelhammer

Age: 36.

Employment: Accountant at Merickel Lumber.

Public office experience: None.

What do you want to accomplish if elected? My goal is to help the school district continue the level of excellence that our school district has worked hard to achieve.

Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I plan to do this by learning more about the school system and by keeping an open mind while making decisions.

What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? As a WDC alumni and a mother with children in different levels of the school system, I believe I can bring insight and perspective to the board. I would be honored to serve on the WDC school board.

Gail Vittetoe

Age: 60.

Employment: Self-employed.

Public office experience: None.

What do you want to accomplish if elected? I would work with the present school board to continue a creative enforcement for a safe and positive learning experience. Work with the board to ensure all students receive a quality education. Work to be certain the school remains a positive part of the area communities.

Specifically, how would you accomplish your goals? I would like to work as a board to create some new procedural guidelines that ensure all parties involved in a negative written complaint come together to discuss it in a positive way. Keeping with the positive environment. Open communication with the public is also a way to gather and disseminate information about our schools.

What abilities or qualifications separate you from your competition? Why are you the best candidate for the job? I would be the best candidate for the job because I have years of experience working with committees and organizations. This would make me a quality candidate and a good fit to work with our present school board. To keep WDC performing at the highest level of education. I have three children and a grandchild that have graduated from WDC and two grandchildren still in WDC. I would love to have the chance to work with the present board, students and community to keep WDC at the highest standard of education.

Related Topics: ELECTION 2018SCHOOL BOARD
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