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Voter Guide: Cromwell School Board

 

October 2, 2020

Brian Granholm

Brian Granholm

Background

I have lived in the district my entire life, graduated from Cromwell High School. I'm a retired construction worker, and managed a concrete cutting business the last eight years. My wife and I have had a beef farm for the past 33 years. Since retiring I started a welding business.

What made you decide to run for school board this year?

I am seeking re-election to be part of the decision making process that will help keep Cromwell/Wright a sound school district for our students.

What do you think are the top two issues facing the school district and how would you go about tackling them?

Right now Covid-19. Cromwell/Wright has a great administration, teachers and staff who have made it possible to teach at the hybrid model as of now. Funding and enrollment are always a concern, enrollment is down a little due to Covid. I think we"ll have to make some adjustments for the school year.

Elaborate on something you think the school board has handled well over the past two years.

Last year, after 10 years of talks, our students here at Cromwell/Wright have a completed New Industrial Tech Building. The school is furnishing it with new equipment from money received from a grant. We were able to purchase a new CNC Plasma table, state-of-the-art sander, CNC router table, along with some other smaller new items.

The coronavirus has changed education in many ways. Are there things we can learn from the pandemic even after it passes?

Yes I'm sure there are, as schools will continue to adjust to the ever changing guidelines that come down from the state level.

Why should people vote for you?

I have several years of experience serving on the board, I try to make good sound decisions for the students and school district, continue to make sure the school thrives, and be a voice in the community and the board.

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Bruce Schoenberg

Background

I grew up in St. Cloud and Duluth. I worked as a field forester for the US Forest Service and Minnesota DNR, holding leadership positions in Society of American Foresters. Community involvement includes: 4H, Community Festival Chair, Cub Scouts, volunteer track and cross country coaching, local childrens' ski program.

What made you decide to run for school board this year?

I was encouraged to run by individuals I respect. I feel it is important to serve in the community. I think I can offer valuable input.

What do you think are the top two issues facing the school district and how would you go about tackling them?

Maintaining fiscal responsibility and strengthening the educational offerings. I would address these issues by carefully considering the options available, soliciting input from teachers and administrative staff and casting my votes for what seem to be the best solutions.

Elaborate on something you think the school board has handled well over the past two years.

Continuing to look for solutions to improve facilities. I think the board has reworked the design for upgrading the school in preparation for a new referendum. That seems to be a very positive action.

The coronavirus has changed education in many ways. Are there things we can learn from the pandemic even after it passes?

Dealing with the pandemic has demonstrated the ability to come up with solutions to meet unanticipated challenges by involving full representation of school staff working together. Whenever this virus situation does pass, we will have a great opportunity to look back at what solutions worked. It could be used as a starting point to revitalize our educational model to better fit the needs of our times. We can evaluate what aspects of distance learning worked well and how to provide a more flexible education model to meet a wider range of student needs and learning styles.

Why should people vote for you?

I'm a parent who has children enrolled in the Cromwell-Wright school: a recent graduate and a sophomore. I have not done this before; I hope to offer some fresh perspectives. I think the school is a very important energy center of this small community. I want to see it flourish.

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Tim Homstad

Background

I grew up in Cromwell and graduated in 1977. My career choices have always placed me in front of or working with people, either one on one or larger group settings. I believe that my last four years on the school board have been successful and I look forward to the next four.

What made you decide to run for school board this year?

I believe we are just getting started on some fantastic changes and possibilities. I helped usher some of those in and I hope to be around to see them to completion.

What do you think are the top two issues facing the school district and how would you go about tackling them?

A) I think communication and the issue of misunderstanding or misconceptions in one of the greatest challenges facing any district. The court of public opinion is always ready to make a judgment or draw conclusions without perhaps having all the facts. I would make every effort to get clear and accurate information to the district in a timely manner.

B) Ongoing educational and student needs. Our educational system has shifted since I was in school. The 'three R's' have been expanded to try and meet the social, economic and emotional support needed in our area. As a district, we value our students and will continue to provide educational opportunities as well as support structures to give them the best chance of success in all aspects of their life.

Elaborate on something you think the school board has handled well over the past two years.

I think the addition of our new Industrial Arts wing was a fantastic accomplishment. It was years in the planning and re-planning stage but finally it came together and now we have a state-of-the-art facility which will help all of our students learn new skills that will benefit them in the years to come.

The coronavirus has changed education in many ways. Are there things we can learn from the pandemic even after it passes?

The onset of a pandemic is something most living today have never seen. It has taught us the value of our educational system and our teachers and what we have so long taken for granted. It has reminded us that there are more than just ourselves to be concerned with and that if we all do our part, things get better. It has taught us that if we are challenged, we will rise to meet that challenge and that we are better together than apart.

Why should people vote for you?

This last question is always difficult to answer. So I would say this: "Vote for the people you feel will best meet the needs of the district and who you believe will have your kids best interest at heart." If that is me, then I say "Thank you."

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Tristan Johnson

Background

I'm a lifelong resident of the Cromwell Wright area and an active member of the community serving as a volunteer firefighter and medical responder for five years and counting. I've held multiple management positions during local employment as well as being a local small business owner.

What made you decide to run for school board this year?

Positive and impactful change is needed. Our district, staff, and students need a member who will respectively represent everyone.

What do you think are the top two issues facing the school district and how would you go about tackling them?

Communication with the district has been a repetitive complaint with absolute zero response from the current leadership and board. This past year more than ever is a time our district, students, and faculty needed to be informed but instead were left to panic.

We live in a world of endless ways to communicate from social media to video recordings or letters to emails. I believe the recreation of a Parent Teachers Association will help create the reassurance between the school and community as well bring key concerns and ideas to our board from another point of view.

Another concern to me are our early pre-K programs. Not only is this a huge stepping stone for our children but is also key in recruitment for our school. I believe we need to put more investment in our curriculum, scheduling, and staff to create a program that gives our district another drive for growth for our school, community, and children.

Elaborate on something you think the school board has handled well over the past two years.

The class of 2020's senior year went from what was supposed to be one of the greatest times of their lives, to complete Covid chaos. With so many stipulations and guidelines to graduation, our administration and board successfully assured that they could still make it a positive and memorable experience!

The coronavirus has changed education in many ways. Are there things we can learn from the reaction to the pandemic even after it passes?

Bruce Schoenberg

Covid has been an awakening for the general public and government. Some responses stern and others less responsive. Our school has made incredible progress even after being threatened with a shutdown. But the progress needs to continue, and weekly reassessments to our response need to be instituted in the future. We all offer much needed awareness and insight to the continuous change that is Covid-19. Forward acting individuals with direct responsibility to students, and willing to make these changes are what our communities need.

Why should people vote for you?

I am dedicated to creating positive change to improve communication, transparency, and the overall culture of our district. I will bring a new perspective to our board that will allow me to share new ideas that will enhance community health, as well as student, parent, and faculty satisfaction and well-being.

 
 

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