Meet the GUSB candidates

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Steve Zorn

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Kris Mothershead

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Lara Crighton

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Matt Smith

Following are the candidates running for the Glendive Unified School Board. Four candidates are running for three positions on the board. Kristine Mothershead, Steve Zorn and Matthew Smith are the incumbents and Lara Crighton is vying for one of their positions.

Steve Zorn

Education - work history - family:

My educational background is I graduated with the DCHS class of 78. I also have 3 years of electronics from Johnson Community College in Overland Park Kansas.

I am a Signal Inspector for BNSF Railway and have been with the railroad for 40 years.

I am married to Coral and have 2 sons Jordan and Nick.

Why are you running to serve on the Glendive School Board and what qualities do you think you would bring to the Board if elected?

I am running for the school board to make a difference. I want to see that EVERY Student gets the education that they deserve. With 40 years working for a corporation on both sides of the fence in management and labor gives me the insight to see both sides with the administration, teachers and support staff when discussing contracts and the wants and needs of each side.

In your mind, what is the biggest challenge currently facing Glendive’s schools and what do you think should be done to address it?

The biggest challenge the district is facing is the funding to operate the school district. This issue will be even greater if the mill levy for the elementary does not pass. Likewise, if the building reserve does not pass maintaining and repairing the aging buildings in the district will be extremely difficult, which could affect the ability to have a meaningful learning environment. We also need to keep looking for opportunities to partner with other entities like we have with Johnson Controls to find ways to cut expenses and to find other sources of funding for programs and major repairs for the district. With my years on the school board I have seen the challenges we have faced maintaining these buildings.

Name any other challenges facing Glendive Public Schools which greatly concern you and how you think the school board should address those issues.

Other issues facing the district are filling the open positions, both teaching and support staff. For the teaching positions the administrators have been going to job fairs recruiting teachers to come to our great community and school district for a long and rewarding career making a difference in a child’s learning. Another major challenge is keeping up with the maintenance and repair of our aging buildings to keep them viable and safe for the students and staff.

Lara Crighton

Education - work history - family:

I attended school in Glendive through 11th grade and graduated from Dickinson High School. I have two associate degrees from Dawson Community College. After 10 years in addiction counseling, I resigned to spend more time on my home business options and pursue community interest opportunities. I have been the president of the board of directors for Glendive Swim Team for 3 years and coached several seasons for Glendive Softball Association. I served on the Tyra Banks Beauty advisory board for a year and a half. I am married to Scotty Crighton and we have two children, David and Julia. David is a sophomore at Dawson County High School and Julia is an eighth grader at Washington Middle School.

Why are you running to serve on the Glendive School Board and what qualities do you think you would bring to the Board if elected?

Glendive simply needs people to serve, willing to give up some of their time, to listen, and find creative solutions. My time working as a counselor has helped me develop skills that allow for open communication with people with varying perspectives. I have always been able to listen and find creative solutions to challenging problems. Running a home business has helped me understand there are many ways to address and tackle issues. I believe I would bring an open minded and problem solving perspective to the board.

In your mind, what is the biggest challenge currently facing Glendive’s schools and what do you think should be done to address it?

Our school district faces numerous issues and problems which appear to stem from financial challenges. Financial issues have delayed maintenance on our buildings, however, that is not our only issue. It is clear our community disagrees on the best course of action to resolve these obstacles. Communication, education and open discussion are necessary to find workable solutions. No matter how anyone feels, the fact remains that the schools’ infrastructure requires attention, upgrades and maintenance - all of which require financial investment.

Name any other challenges facing Glendive Public Schools which greatly concern you and how you think the school board should address those issues.

I have observed a consistent improvement of communication and transparency from the administration. However, I feel that additional efforts could be made. The current administration puts forth great efforts to keep the public informed through social media, community involvement and welcoming discussion from the public. As a Glendive tax payer I appreciate the willingness to have these important discussions on tough issues. Having an open conversation about the issues our district faces (staffing, infrastructure, finances and restructuring) is something I would like to see continued and expanded. Our town is going through a shrinking phase and I think it is necessary that the board takes this into account when considering any major projects. This community has discussed our biggest issues ad nauseum and at some point, the board needs to create and offer a plan that is beneficial and acceptable to the majority of Glendive residents. Then the plan needs to be implemented.

Matt Smith

Education - work history - family:

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance with a minor in Business Communications

We have the opportunity of owning and running a local business in the greatest city in Montana, Glendive. Prior to our business endeavors in Glendive I had the opportunity of working for our Church, as an educator, where I worked with high school students in a classroom setting.

Spouse- Sara Smith

Children- Kelsie (9), Andrew

(7), Aubrie (5), Brooke (3), Riley (17 months)

Why are you running to serve on the Glendive School Board and what qualities do you think you would bring to the Board if elected?

I am running to serve on the School Board because I believe that we should provide our children with a quality public education. I believe in preserving and improving the quality of our school system. I feel that it is imperative that we provide teachers and children with adequate and appropriate resources, to meet all standards regarding students’ success. I know that it is imperative that we create a shared vision for academic achievement by establishing a rigorous culture of learning, and create a expectation of high academic standards for all students.

In your mind, what is the biggest challenge currently facing Glendive’s schools and what do you think should be done to address it?

Preparing for the future. The decisions that we are making now will ultimately make a difference for future generations. Are we setting the ground work for a successful future? I want to make sure that we are preparing for a bright future. Learning from our past and preparing for the future.

Name any other challenges facing Glendive Public Schools which greatly concern you and how you think the school board should address those issues.

Collaboration. I believe that Mr. Schreibeis has unlocked this potential and that it will continue to flourish as we collaborate with ALL stakeholders: students, parents, educators, community leaders, faith based community, businesses and non-profit organizations. We need to open the window of communication.

Kris Mothershead

Education - work history - family:

I am Kris Mothershead. I have resided in Glendive for the last ten years. I moved here when I accepted a position as a Design Drafter at WBI Energy Transmission. I have two children, my daughter works for Kinross Gold in Mauritania, Africa and my son works for Air Swift in Watford City, N.D. I also have a fouryear-old granddaughter.

I received an ASS in Design & Drafting in April 2008 and a BS in Industrial Technology in May of 2013.

Why are you running to serve on the Glendive School Board and what qualities do you think you would bring to the Board if elected?

I made the decision to run for the school board because I believe education is important. I also believe that it is important to participate in one’s community. I spent six years participating in a small rural school district in Sweet Grass County. I was the school clerk, and then became a board member. I believe my history has helped me as a current member of the Glendive board.

In your mind, what is the biggest challenge currently facing Glendive’s schools and what do you think should be done to address it?

I feel that our aging school buildings are the biggest challenge facing the board at this time. Students need a secure and comfortable learning environment.

Name any other challenges facing Glendive Public Schools which greatly concern you and how you think the school board should address those issues.

I also feel that the board needs to convey transparency. It is important for the community to share their ideas and opinions.

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