The North Bend Eagle


 

Six vying for three seats on NBC school board

Published 10/29/14

With all North Bend city offices running unopposed, local voters will have just one contested race to decide when they choose three of the six candidates running for seats on the North Bend Central Board of Education.

Each of the six candidate responded to a North Bend Eagle questionnaire with their answers printed below:

Mike Borer and his wife Lisa have four children: Danielle, a sophomore at Wayne State College and Zachery (8th grade), Bailey (7th), and Lacy (6th) all at NBC. He has previously served a four-year term on the school board.

Why do you believe you a strong candidate for NBC school board? I am a lifelong resident of the North Bend area and have very strong ties to the community. I am very familiar with the school system and know the challenges we face and have experience to help overcome those challenges and provide the best education we can for our students. I have three students in the NBC school system and am very involved. I have an educational background in industrial technology and secondary education. I have been involved in coaching youth sports for 20 years and love working with the kids and watching them grow and succeed.

What experience do you have that would help you in the role as a school board member? I have worked at Hormel Foods for 20 years in management, working with major budgets and maintaining facilities. I previously served four years on the North Bend School Board and was involved in the hiring of our current superintendent and was very involved in the bond issue for the current necessary upgrades being completed to our facilities for our students.
What are your priorities for the upcoming four-year term? I take great pride in North Bend and plan on continuing to help improve our school system and making sure our students have all of the opportunities and resources to help them become successful and independent. Some of these students will return
to North Bend to raise their families and we want to be sure we are giving them the best education possible. I will do whatever I can to help that happen for our future.

Anything else? I feel I was a successful part of the school board previously and helped to accomplish many things that needed to be done. I feel I have the background and knowledge and relationships in the community to be a valuable asset on the board moving forward. I take our kids’ education very seriously and want to be part of the force behind our students that helps them prepare for their adult lives.

Jeff Bauer and his wife Louise have four children, all graduates of NBC. He is an incumbent first voted onto the board in 2002.

What is something from your time on the board that you consider a success? Anything that we have done during my time on the board that has made the school a better place for our students I consider a success. However, the community’s investment in the 7.3 million dollar bond to enhance our schools is the largest success of my time on the board. My role was not only helping pick out the colors for the materials with the women (one of two men on the team) but also attending additional planning meetings to ensure the monies were spent the way they were allocated and to hold the contractors to the timelines and expectations that were agreed upon.

What are your priorities for the upcoming four-year term?
• Maintaining/upgrading facilities: We are constantly trying to be proactive about the facilities and opportunities we have for our families, students, and teachers. This is currently taking place with the addition of our new construction projects. These projects will allow our students secure facilities and competitively updated sporting opportunities, as well as upgraded academic facilities to provide excellence for the education of the students in our school district.

• Continuing to stay current with technology: Technology is constantly changing and allows for exciting opportunities for our students. Distance learning equipment, smart boards, computer carts for classrooms and more cameras throughout the halls of the school are just a few of the ways that we have improved the technology in our school district. This is the technology generation and it is important to show our students that as the school board, we support and plan for their future even after North Bend.

• Maintaining and increasing enrollment: We are always planning for the future with steadily increasing enrollment numbers to encourage growth in the community and to be able to provide more opportunities for our students.

Jim Dake and his wife Elizabeth Zeleny-Dake are both NBC graduates. They have two children, son Justice, a sophomore at NBC, and daughter Liberty, a fourth grader at NBE.

Why do you believe you a strong candidate for NBC school board? My career as an attorney has always been about solving problems. Often times, it’s doing things so problems do not happen at all. My work is often in juvenile court where I can help kids and families repair their problems. A great deal of the time education is a key tool.

What experience do you have that would help you in the role as a school board member? I believe my experience as a board member for two prior terms is helpful. I was part of the board that hired Mr. Endorf, Mrs. Zietlow and Mrs. Peterson, approved the new infrastructures at both buildings, was on the board when the ideas for the new buildings were put together and assisted in the bond project for the new construction. Dealing with my disability (wheelchair) allows me to view things in a way others cannot.

What are your priorities for the upcoming four-year term? Assisting in the growth at North Bend Central. I am proud of what we have seen at NBC over the last decade and would very much like to be a part of a board of education that ensures it continues. That, and I would love to get that parking lot paved!

Bob Feurer and his wife Julie have two children, Erin and Cade, both NBC graduates. Before retiring last year, Feurer had been a teacher at NBC for 35 years.

Why do you believe you a strong candidate for NBC school board? I’ve coached football, wrestling and track and was coaching as many as three sports a year. I sponsored clubs and classes and have been the curator of the arboretum for 25 years. The thing I am most proud of though is my time in the science classroom at NBC. I have lots of experience wearing many different hats. I’ve got a lot of institutional memory from working with four different superintendents and three principals over my years.

What experience do you have that would help you in the role as a school board member? I can bring lots of insight from the perspective of academics. I’ve been a regular attendee at professional development opportunities both as a presenter and participant. As the Nebraska Teacher of the Year in 2011, a lot of doors are open to me both in Nebraska and nationally where I can solicit information and advice.

What are your priorities for the upcoming four-year term? I have to say that the science budget during my 35-year career never increased and actually went down for several years. I think we need to look seriously at how we support teachers as they endeavor to teach our children in the classrooms. I understand how important the preschool is to getting learners off to a good start. For years I carried a piece of card in my wallet with this goal written on it, “Make NBC the most innovative school of its size in the state.” I want to work toward achieving that goal.

Anything else? I really believe in North Bend. With the promised completion of the Highway 30 bypass, our existing waterfront properties and our proximity to both Omaha and Lincoln, our future will be bright. I know when we were planning the arboretum some economic development data showed that prospective residents look for good schools and good parks as an indicator of a strong community. I think we fit the bill!

Jeff Peters has served on the board since 2010. He and his wife Aimee have three children, daughter Emerson (8th grade), sons Breckin (6th) and Burkett (4th) in North Bend schools.

What is something from your time on the board that you consider a success? NBC hired our new superintendent, Dr. Dan Endorf in the summer of 2010, my very first conversation with him that summer was about the many great things our school has to offer, it’s wonderful history but more importantly, looking forward, our need for school updates and modernization. My job as a financial advisor has given me the knowledge and understanding of public finance, in particular, school financing. We discussed in detail the government programs that were available at the time intended to help stimulated local economies by encouraging municipalities such as schools to undertake capital improvements. By 2011, NBC had applied for and received a $2.2 million, almost zero percent net interest government loan that allowed us to make improvements including new roofs, fire suppression sprinkler systems, new phone and technology updates and a safety and security package that included automatic locking doors and security cameras throughout the schools.

Doing these much needed renovations allowed us to focus on taking advantage of the historically low interest rate environment and present the idea of a $7.2 million bond issue. All if the updates was accomplished with an overwhelming 79 percent voter approval rating by the public and because of higher than expected property valuations, an actual decrease in the tax levy to the lowest level in over 10 years.

What are your priorities for the upcoming four-year term? The four major priorities in our future will be:

1. How a potential slowdown in the economy could affect the tax receipts and the cost saving steps needed to be taken if/when that should happen.

2. We will continue to see a large number of our educators reach retirement age and the board will be challenged with the job of finding quality candidates to continue our high level of academic excellence.

3. Continue to monitor the progress of both our new preschool and middle school.

4. Focus on keeping up with the latest advancements in technology and innovation so that our students graduate well prepared for the future

Anything else? The last four years have seen many positive changes to our school. I am very proud of the fact that we were able to take advantage of the extremely low interest rate environment, make improvements to our facilities and reduce the tax levy at the same time. Even with all those improvements, if you own a $100,000 piece of property, you will pay $30 less in taxes this year than you did four years ago. But the most important thing is the quality of education our students are receiving. This past year, NBC was ranked In the top 15 out of over 250 districts in the state based on our NESA scores. Those are the most important number of all.

John Seymour and his wife Robin have three children: Leslye, a 2009 NBC graduate and now a third grade teacher, sons John, a ‘13 NBC grad now at UNL and James, a freshman at NBC. We are very proud of their efforts academically, and as members of their community, realizing it can be difficult at times without a good support network.

Why do you believe you a strong candidate for NBC school board? As a local resident with land in the North Bend school district since the existing high school was built, I feel it is my duty to offer my services to continue the effort in providing quality education for our students. I have served on various boards, councils and committees and have an agricultural business background. My family and I have been active in academic and sports functions of the North Bend school. I feel that I can add valuable input to the continued effort of improving the quality of education for our students.

What experience do you have that would help you in the role as a school board member? I have had the luxury of traveling in my work and have met many civic and business leaders throughout the U.S. from small communities to larger metropolitan areas. Additionally, I have budgeting and consulting experience and stay up on current technologies of business realizing that education and a well rounded workforce are the leading foundation of any good business model. I feel that more business exposure for our students will better the student, community and the school system.

What are your priorities for the upcoming four-year term? Now that expansion efforts have taken shape in the brick and mortar throughout NBC, it is time to focus on maintaining a balanced budget with economic focus upon expenditures of expansion. Improvement in the bus fleet age with a focus on staff and student safety, along with parking demands will soon be apparent and I consider a priority. Maintaining quality teacher-to-student class sizes is also imperative with programs providing exposure to real life applications in learning while encouraging all areas of interests. I would like to see a student mentoring program structured to improve overall completion levels. All of our students can benefit from service related efforts, projects and involvement.

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