Five school board candidates vying for two positions

The Baker Education Association (BEA) held a public forum for school board candidates April 25.


Posted May 2, 2014

By Lori Kesinger

The Baker Education Association (BEA) held a public forum for school board candidates April 25. About 40 people were in attendance for the informative session held at the Longfellow Gymnasium. The five candidates contending for two positions in the upcoming election are incumbent Jon Slagter, Chris Schell, Scott Rabbitt, Johnna Graham, and Kevin Dukart.

Each candidate introduced themselves followed by a question and answer session where several issues were addressed. Candidates were asked what they though the Baker School District had done well in the last five years, and what areas needed improvement. Slagter and Graham agreed the facility improvements were excellent for providing opportunities in education and that it would be a requirement to continue with those improvements. “I don’t think we have enough advanced placement (AP) courses,” Slagter said. “And through those improvements we can begin to facilitate that.” Schell and Rabbitt agreed the hiring of quality educators was impressive and to continue hiring and retaining those educators would be important. Dukart said, “One major improvement I have noted is the communication from the school staff to the parents on grades and performance.”

Candidates also addressed their vision for education in support of the economy and quality of life in our community. Slagter felt a strong education at the high school level would give students several options for their future. Schell thought giving our young people a strong work ethic would help them succeed.

Rabbitt stated, “I believe technology will give students an upper hand for the next step whether going to college or out in the work force.”

Graham would like to see students have the same opportunities as those across the state and the country. Dukart appreciates the adult education and after school programs and would like to see them continue.

All of the candidates agreed communication was key to having a relationship with people in the community. Dukart summed it up by saying, “We serve the people in the district.” Baker Public School trustee election will be Tuesday, May 6 in the lobby of the Longfellow Gymnasium. Voters should use the entrances on Fallon Avenue and Second Street SW.