Kimberlee Giermann

Kimberlee Giermann

Address: Chisholm

Occupation: Biology and Chemistry instructor

Spouse/family: Husband, Craig; three children ages 16,18 and 23; and two dogs

Memberships in organizations/clubs: Minnesota State Colleges Faculty (MSCF)/MEA union, World Ki Gong club

Past experience as a candidate: First time

• How do you define the role of school board director?

I think a school board member should obtain and analyze all the information available on a topic, including talking to teachers, students, community members and administrators to make the best decision possible for the good of the district.

• What qualifications/characteristics do you possess that make you the best candidate for the position?

I have more than 25 years of experience in education. I have served on numerous committees including academic affairs, curriculum, facilities, fiscal affairs and online education. My three children have attended or are attending school in Chisholm. I am knowledgeable about PSEO, CITS, ALI and other current trends in education.

• One of the district’s sports teams recently had to alter its season due to a lack of participants. How do you feel about pairing and sharing sports and activities with other school districts?

I think sports and activities bring pride to schools and communities and can keep kids in school and encourage good grades. Therefore, I would like Chisholm to retain its identity if possible. However, if sharing is the only viable option, I would rather see that before they are eliminated completely.

• What do you feel are the biggest challenges facing the district?

Money is a concern for all schools, and old buildings like our schools are expensive. We need to attract students to increase the number of students and therefore funding in the district and retain students by providing high quality education while maintaining our offerings, both academic and extra-curricular.

• Communication is identified as the district’s No. 1 goal in its strategic plan. What are your thoughts on it?

There needs to be good communication within the school, with families and with the community. Communication is required to strengthen relationships. Listening is an important part of communication, and I believe one of the key roles of a school board member is to listen to concerns of the community.

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Patricia Kestly

Patricia Kestly

Address: Chisholm

Occupation: Retired Educator/Consultant/Trainer/Small Business Owner

Spouse/family: Husband, Greg; sons, Christopher ’92, Andrew ’97 and Alexander ’01; and their families.

Memberships in organizations/clubs: Current: Rotary, Chisholm Alumni Band Committee, Hibbing City Band, Youth In Action, Education Innovative Partners, Campaign volunteer.

Past: Kids Plus, Field of Dreams Playground Committee, Chisholm Library Board, Church choir, church elder, youth leader, Sunday school teacher, youth choir director, Chisholm PTA. Cub Scouts, School Parent Volunteer.

Past experience as a candidate: Completing first term as a school board director

• How do you define the role of school board director?

M.S. 123B.02, Subd. 1, defines the role. In addition, I see my role as advocate for our district and it’s academics, arts, and athletics.

• What qualifications/characteristics do you possess that make you the best candidate for the position?

Long-term experience: manager, facilitator, mentor and teacher including school finance, curriculum, staffing and resources. Education: BS, MS+ Pre-K, Kindergarten, Parent Education, Community Education, K-12 Principal. Variances: Family and Consumer Science and Developmental and Cognitive Disabilities including teaching in both of those areas.

• One of the district’s sports teams recently had to alter its season due to a lack of participants. How do you feel about pairing and sharing sports and activities with other school districts?

We’ve been collaborating in regards to golf, hockey and tennis. We’re one of 22 school districts working to facilitate course instruction through tele-presence across these schools and five community colleges. Eleven school districts are working to provide education to atypical learners who need to be in a more specialized learning environment.

• What do you feel are the biggest challenges facing the district?

Minnesota school finance isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to providing adequate funds. Working with elected officials to see the true costs of education is imperative for success. No two students have the same education needs. Mega schools aren’t the model that best suits the needs of our Northern Minnesota learners.

• Communication is identified as the district’s No. 1 goal in its strategic plan. What are your thoughts on it?

Accurate communication in multiple formats is necessary to counteract misconceptions regarding our school mission, functions, capabilities, successes and challenges. We have worked with consultants to enhance our skills in this domain. We have made great strides and continue to improve our communication skills.

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Shelly Lappi

Shelly Lappi

Address: Chisholm

Occupation: Direct Sales Representative for Fraboni Wholesale

Spouse/family: Husband, Shawn, and daughter, Aria Lappi

Memberships in organizations/clubs: Chisholm Area Chamber of Commerce Family Activities Committee

Past experience as a candidate: No previous experience

• How do you define the role of school board director?

From what I’ve been researching, the role of a school board member is to first determine the school’s mission and purpose. We need to establish an effective structure, work together to support it, and provide community leadership to focus on our student’s achievements.

• What qualifications/characteristics do you possess that make you the best candidate for the position?

I’m an educated, hard-working citizen who cares about our community. I’ve spent several hours volunteering for events in town and have served two terms on the Chisholm Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. I have a child in our district and a vested interest in the success of our school.

• One of the district’s sports teams recently had to alter its season due to a lack of participants. How do you feel about pairing and sharing sports and activities with other school districts?

I want my daughter to be a “Bluestreak.” I’d hope we can keep the core sports in Chisholm that we’ve had for years, but understand we may need to pair to ensure students have the opportunity to play. With future facility updates, perhaps we can increase enrollment in our community.

• What do you feel are the biggest challenges facing the district?

I think the biggest most obvious challenge in our district is contract negotiations.

• Communication is identified as the district’s No. 1 goal in its strategic plan. What are your thoughts on it?

Communication is the key to any successful organization. We must all understand the vision of the district. We can then develop our goals, set the priorities and make informed decisions to our school’s best interest.

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Todd Reinke

Todd Reinke

Address: Chisholm

Occupation: Driller at Keetac USS

Spouse/family: Wife, Carol; daughter, Kennedy; son, Harrison

Memberships in organizations/clubs: No answer provided

Past experience as a candidate: No answer provided

• How do you define the role of school board director?

To be a mediator between administration, teachers and parents. To put forth a healthy environment for all to work in.

•What qualifications/characteristics do you possess that make you the best candidate for the position?

As a concerned parent and citizen, I realize the school is our city’s identity. That’s what motivates me.

• One of the district’s sports teams recently had to alter its season due to a lack of participants. How do you feel about pairing and sharing sports and activities with other school districts? Sports programs reveal the health of a district. Pairing and sharing should be a last ditch

effort if there are no other options. Chisholm has always had a rich athletic tradition, but in recent years seems to have lost its competitive edge. This definitely needs to be addressed.

• What do you feel are the biggest challenges facing the district?

Declining enrollment and losing teachers to boarding districts that offer higher wages, and better incentives.

• Communication is identified as the district’s No. 1 goal in its strategic plan. What are your thoughts on it?

I agree. I’d like to see administration and board hold a town hall meeting once a year to field questions and concerns from parents and students, preferably in the spring, so the issues can be worked on for fall start up. We need to be more proactive and less reactive.

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Cynthia Rice

Cynthia May Rice

Address: Chisholm

Occupation: Retired. Substitute teacher with Teachers on Call.

Spouse/Family: Husband, Dave; daughter, Samantha Gaige and son-in-law J.T.; grandson, Braedan, 12, and one one the way; daughter, Jessica

Membership in organizations/clubs: Chisholm Community Foundation Board and Chisholm Public School Foundation Board.

Past experience as a candidate:No answer provided

• How do you define the role of school board director?

The primary role of a school board director is to ensure that decisions are made in the best interest of “all” students. I believe through strong leadership of a school board we can ensure that our students, school personnel and community as a whole, will thrive for years to come.

• What qualifications/characteristics do you possess that make you the best candidate for the position?

I am a life long Chisholm resident and Chisholm High School graduate, which I take great pride in. As an employee of the Chisholm Schools for 34 years, I believe I have first hand knowledge and understanding of the school system that is essential in the decision making process.

• One of the district’s sports teams recently had to alter its season due to a lack of participants. How do you feel about pairing and sharing sports and activities with other school districts?

My preference is to not “pair and share.” Rather, my hope is that our community supports our own teams and activities. However, in the event Chisholm can not support full activities, then I am in support of this strategy so that “all” students have the opportunity to participate.

• What do you feel are the biggest challenges facing the district?

Funding and mandates are very large challenges for school districts, including Chisholm. In addition, school management is a huge responsibility, which is essential to ensure safety and security of our students, efficiency in procedures and success for “all.”

• Communication is identified as the district’s No. 1 goal in its strategic plan. What are your thoughts on it?

Communication should be an automatic in the operations of all schools. If this isn’t an automatic in Chisholm schools, then it should certainly be addressed in the Strategic Plan. However, I’m not confident that it should be prioritized over academic success. I also believe through effective leadership comes effective communication.

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Jaclyn Corradi Simon

Jaclyn Corradi Simon

Address: Chisholm

Occupation: Attorney at Law

Spouse/family: My husband and two children

Memberships in organizations/clubs: Minnesota Discovery Center Board of Directors (2014-present); Children’s Justice Initiative, Member Northern St. Louis County; Range Bar Association, Member 2006–present; Minnesota State Bar Association, Member 2006–present; Chisholm Figure Skating Club Instructor/Supervisor (1998-2014)

Past experience as a candidate: None

• How do you define the role of school board director?

An advocate for local public education by establishing policies and regulations and setting a budget to permit for high academic achievement and exemplary social and skill development for students.

• What qualifications/characteristics do you possess that make you the best candidate for the position?

Advocacy is my skill. I am a lawyer I advocate for my client’s position daily. As a lawyer, I am able to easily navigate and implements statute, regulations and poli- cies. Further, with my children in the district, I have high expectations and standards for the education our district should provide.

• One of the district’s sports teams recently had to alter its season due to a lack of participants. How do you feel about pairing and sharing sports and activities with other school districts?

Pairing and sharing creates a great opportunity for our students. However, the district needs to evaluate the reasons behind its low participation and enrollment numbers. Understanding the cause is crucial to creating the change.

• What do you feel are the biggest challenges facing the district?

The district needs to define its goal and provide opportunities for rigorous academic and athletic development. Policies of the district should support this goal. Small schools do thrive and survive. Moving past the notion that lower numbers are a barrier to high achievement. Thinking and planning in non-traditional ways.

• Communication is identified as the district’s No. 1 goal in its strategic plan. What are your thoughts on it?

Absolutely. We need to communicate to define our goals, to communicate our goals to the public by demonstration and written means how we are meeting our goals, to listen to the public, students and teachers for feedback and direction and to communicate daily with parents and the community.

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Ione Tomasetti

Ione Tomasetti

Address: Chisholm

Occupation: Fitness instructor, home care aide, singer/musician with “The Renowns” band, business

Spouse/family: Three sons: Mark, Michael and Jim, who graduated in Chisholm

Memberships in organizations/clubs: Former director of Chisholm Chamber of Commerce, 23 years; Past President of Minnesota Arrowhead Association; State Tourism task force; Iron Trail Tourism Association; Chisholm Kiwanis Club; Secretary of Pathblazers Snowmobile Club; Serves on the Range Association of Municipalities and Schools (RAMS), representing our district.

Past experience as a candidate: On the board for over 20 years

• How do you define the role of school board director?

Educating our children. Our primary goal is policy and procedure, making sure to do things the right way. Being the eyes and ears of the community for the school. Being responsible.

• What qualifications/characteristics do you possess that make you the best candidate for the position?

I worked in business and owned a business for many years. Common sense has to rule in spending and in keeping our great staff employed. We need to keep our school, our staff and education.

• One of the district’s sports teams recently had to alter its seasons due to a lack of participants. How do you feel about pairing and sharing sports and activities with other districts?

We love our team. If we don’t have enough children to make the requirement to have a team, then if someone else needs to add to keep a team, then everyone wins — keep kids in sports.

• What do you feel are the biggest challenges facing the district?

Small school districts are always short of finances. That needs to be fixed by the state. Finances are the No. 1 issue.

• Communication is identified as the district’s No. 1 goal in its strategic plan. What are your thoughts on it?

When we talk about communication, yes. Every opportunity on all media should be used. I do know a lot of older residents don’t do social media or computers, but we must continue to serve them by newspaper and radio/T.V.

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