Beatrice School Board Candidates Discuss Grade-Level Elementary Option

BEATRICE – Nine candidates are running to fill four spots on the Beatrice School Board this year.  Eight will move on to the November election.  All nine participated in a Beatrice Area Chamber of Commerce election forum Wednesday night.  One of the questions they faced is an issue drawing some controversy now….whether District 15 should institute grade-level buildings in elementary education, to help prevent having to move students around to equalize class size.

Board incumbent, Doris Martin is seeking a third term.  She said the idea originated with elementary principals, and she trusts their judgement.

:15                  “so to speak”

Candidate Eugene Fiester opposes the grade-level option.

:09                  “in that school”

Candidate Eric Trusty says he favors grade-level buildings but is torn on the issue, somewhat.

:13                  “process here”

Trusty said he would hate to see another change having to be made, in just a few years.

School Board President Jon Zimmerman feels the grade-level arrangement is a good option, saying it takes stress out of the equation for students and staff.

:08                  “anymore”

Former School Board member Monte Lofing is running for the board again. He favors new Superintendent Jason Alexander’s involvement in the decision, when he takes over for the retiring Pat Nauroth, July 1st.

:12                  “from there”

Candidate Matt Langley says constantly moving kids around is not fun, and not good strategy.

:11                  “favor of it”

Langley says he prefers to allow the new administration to weigh in first, on the idea.    Candidate Andrew Pinney says he neither favors or opposes grade-level buildings.

:18                  “on it”

Candidate Erin Chadwick is in support of grade-level elementary buildings, acknowledging some cost for changes in busing.

:19                  “the kids”

Eric Book feels the new superintendent and board should get the chance to review the issue.

:20                  “are now”

The chamber election forum with the school board candidates was moderated by attorney Jeff Davis.

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