The stage was set at Burns High School Commons. On October 18 at 6:30 p.m., Burns’ U.S. government senior class held a school board candidate forum.
The graduating class students wrote twenty questions. The event began with a meet and greet with the school candidates with refreshments provided. The main questions began at 7:00 p.m. with Johnny Mercer, a language arts teacher at Burns High School, who read the questions to the contestants. Each candidate had a short time to answer the question. At first, candidates had to introduce themselves and say who they were for two minutes.
Cody Nusbaum who races for At Large started the introductions. He’s been in Wyoming for twenty years and he’s vice president of sales for Capital One Roofing. Nusbaum shows up for school because he feels there are big problems coming up.
Micheal Lerwick was next racing for At Large. He has lived in the neighborhood all his life. Lerwick had two great-uncles in the first class at Albin where he had attended school. He has
five neighborhood children. Lerwick wants to ensure that the values of the Laramie County #2 School District align with the values of the district’s stakeholders. That we are indebted to those values that are forced upon us when we teach our children.
Kendra Roeder is an At Large contestant. She is originally from Kearney, Nebraska. Roeder started teaching in 1979. She came to Pine Bluffs in 1988. Roeder retired in 2018. She kind of keeps her hand in the pot by doing various things for the school. Roeder is an educator. She’s been on one side of the desk and she’d like to try the other side. Roeder would like to be a voice for students and teachers.
Billie Wilson is a candidate for Area D. She spent her freshman year learning to be a school counselor. How the school board works, how school districts are run, about state statutes and the history of things. Wilson feels like he has a good base. She is excited to continue building our district in the direction that state holders want to go. Wilson has been in the district for nearly 30 years. She has four children who went to school. Wilson is committed to the community.
Seth Heinert is an At Large candidate. He began to thank the elders for organizing the forum. Heinert thought it was a cool event. He is a fourth-generation Wyomingite who grew up in the northwestern part of the state. He was an educator all his life. Heinert works for an educational consulting company. His motivation for running for the school board is to serve. Heinert thanked them for the opportunity of this forum.
Fred Macy is an At Large contestant. He is a fourth generation farmer. Macy graduated from Pine Bluffs High School. He has experience in different councils.
The first question was what role will the nominees play on the board? Nusbaum will speak if he has a strong feeling on the subject. He wants to work with the council together. Lerwick wants to be an advocate, to have the best interests of students at heart and the best education possible. Roeder is a problem solver. She wants to bring her understanding of education. Wilson’s role is a communicator, to ensure that state holders have the opportunity to communicate. She enjoys being part of the teamwork and Wilson is also the question asker. Heinert is usually the one who comes up with the idea and tries to solve the problem. Macy’s role is to represent the interests of everyone in the district.
Questions continued about your primary role on the board? About changing board policy during the school year? Higher graduation rates? Standardize the tests? Future budget cuts? Should activities play a role in the school system? Develop activities in the city center? Growth concern at school? Increase communication throughout the neighborhood? adolescent mental health? Your opinion on the four-day week? Make school safer? These were some of the questions asked.
Each candidate answered the questions he could. If they had no opinion, they said so. In the end, they were excited about the questions. They were excited to show how they will fit into the school district. Only one candidate already sits on the school’s board of directors. Wilson has his best interest in teachers, students, parents, and the school district. As for new candidates, they are happy to help the district with new ideas and concerns.