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School Board candidates prepare for Kelliher election

Robert Hoyum1 / 2
Barb Woltjer2 / 2

Kelliher School Board elections are set for Nov. 3 and with three positions open, three individual's names will appear on the ballot.

After years of serving on the board, Emmet Weidenborner and Leonard Nistler are resigning their four-year terms. Ed Gehlert, whose term is also up, has decided to rerun.

Robert Hoyum, one of the candidates is no stranger to the area. He has made Kelliher his home for the last 50 years and spent 26 years working with the school.

"I have served the Kelliher schools for 26 years as a full-time science teacher and school counselor," Hoyum said. "I would like to further serve our district as a board member."

Hoyum has had three children move through the Kelliher School District and hopes that he can make differences for those to come and those currently enrolled.

"I want to keep the Kelliher School healthy and productive in what we provide for our students and staff," Hoyum said regarding the most important issues he would like to address.

Hoyum stated his philosophy can be summed up in the phrase, "Doing what is best for the students."

Hoyum noted that there are changes he hopes to see made if elected to the board.

"I think our school management team has been doing an above average job in the past year, but I believe we can do an even better job in productivity and results in the future," he said.

Barb Woltjer is another new candidate vying for a position on the board.

Woltjer has lived in the Kelliher/Waskish for nearly 10 years.

"I decided to run for the school board because I care about the future citizens and the enrollment stability," she said.

The issues most important to Woltjer are the quality of education and a strong learning environment.

"Each student should be given the opportunity to succeed and become a productive citizen," she said.

According to Woltjer, the issue she hopes to bring the board that she feels may have been overlooked in the past is the overall morale of the students and staff.

"I'd strive for a positive working and learning atmosphere," she said.

Gehlert, the third candidate who is currently serving on the board could not be reached for comment at press time.

Superintendent Tim Lutz is optimistic about elections and is pleased with the candidates on the ballot.

"It is my hope that the new board can continue to work on the overall big picture," he said. "I believe school boards should allow those they hire to take care of the day-to-day frontline duties of their jobs, while the board works on more visionary aspects of the district. Therefore, I hope the board will be able to participate in long-range planning, budget development, vision and mission statements, as well as supporting the overall efforts of the staff and administration."

Lutz added that he hopes a fresh, new board will be able to look at issues such as utilization of the Old School Building in Kelliher, responsible use of energy while exploring alternative energy sources and finding ways for the school and the community to work together.

"It is my hope that the new members, as well as existing members, will be open to the idea of continually improving the culture withing the district," Lutz said. "During the past year, I have felt great support from the existing school board and I would like to see that continue when the board is comprised of a few new members."