Turn out fair for school trustee forum; Dr. Barran withdraws

1_skool-014CANDIDATES  — From the left, Craig Broesder, incumbent trustee Carole Jones and Brian Fladstol address voters at a school trustee candidate forum held at CHS on Wednesday evening.  I-O Photo by Buck Traxler

By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

Three candidates running for two open seats on the District 10 school board were on hand Wednesday evening for a question-answer forum.

An announcement was made that Dr. Peter Barran, who was absent, would not be a candidate for one of the trustee positions.

The doctor wrote a letter to forum organizer Janice Farkell saying he is withdrawning from the race. He confirmed that with the I-O before the forum.

However, he was too late to get his name off the election ballot. Candidates include Carole Jones, Craig Broesder and Brian Fladstol, the doctor is not a candidate for one of the three-year trustee positions.

At the forum, moderated by former Conrad High School Principal Paul Stenerson, each of the candidates gave a brief history before taking questions.

Jones told the people she was born in Bozeman, has a Masters degree in computers plus other certifications.

She has been a teacher and technology coordinator for District 10, is a local business owner with a strong accountant background and she said, “The best thing you can give a student is a good education.”

Next up, Fladstol noted he was born and raised here and is a 1994 graduate of CHS. He went on to attend MSU-Bozeman.

He returned to Conrad in 1997 to take over a family farm. He serves on a local conservation board and is an assistant football coach. He and his wife have three children in the Conrad school system.

Craig Broesder was also born and raised in Conrad and he has three children in the school system.

He attended MSU-Bozeman for awhile, but came back to Conrad saying, “I felt I needed to be here with family.” He is the shop foreman at Zomer Truck Company, president of the Rocky Mountain Riders Club and a board member on the Golden Triangle Gymnastics Club in Conrad.

Asked about the biggest problem in the school system, other than funding, in one way or another the three candidates echoed the same opinions, noting teachers are underpaid and there is a lack of parental involvement.

On the topic of a four-day school week, again the candidates were pretty much giving the same answer, saying information needs to be gathered, research would need to be done, have to make sure everyone is on the same page.

On the subject of what makes a good board member, Broesder said it was bridging the gap between the community and the board.

Jones noted it was making policy inside the school review policy and creating a vision.

Fladstol felt the job is to serve the community and make sure policy is in the best interest of the student.

Stenerson appreciated the candidates for appearing at the forum and the people who came out to see them.

The trustee-levy election is May 3. Voters may cast their ballot from noon to 8 p.m. in the CHS commons, 308 S. Illinois.