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home : news : news Friday, April 29, 2016

9/4/2013 Email this articlePrint this article 
Three candidates running for two seats on Northeast school board
Three candidates are running for two open seats on the Northeast Community School Board: incumbent Andy Friedrichsen of Andover; former board member Mary Smith of Bryant; and Erin Meyermann of Charlotte. All seats on the Northeast school board are at-large.

Andy Friedrichsen

Andy Friedricihsen is a self-employed farmer in the Andover area. He attended East Central High School and Iowa State University. He and his wife, Renee, have three children. Friedrichsen also volunteers for the Andover Community Ambulance Service.

What do you think the role of a school board member should be?

A school board member should work with the community, board, superintendent, administration and staff to better the school and provide the best opportunities for students.

Why do you want to serve on the school board?

Education has always been important to me and my family. The last four years as a board member have been challenging at times, rewarding and enjoyable. My experience and passion to continuously better our school district and move forward to benefit students is very important to me.

In my first term, the board already was working with FEMA on a grant for the auditorium. With construction starting on our science addition, I would continue to serve on the board and construction committee and see the entire project through from start to finish.

What makes you qualified to be a board member? What skills would you bring to the board?

As a small business owner, keeping an eye on finances is very important. School finance is very different than business finance, but it is equally important to follow a budget and keep track of expenses.

I am currently the only member with children in the district, so I can bring that perspective to the board, which I feel is very important and necessary.

What are the most important needs in the district at this time, and what would you do as a board member to meet those needs?

Upgrades to the science department are in the process, and this will help engage student learning by giving them more hands on learning opportunities. We need to continue to do this in all areas of academics to help keep students ahead.

What are your thoughts on the district's budget and financial priorities?

The district's finances are in good standing at the current time, but we need to keep a close watch on them in these times of unfunded mandates and budget cuts.

Are there any other issues you would like to see addressed? How would you address them?

I think it is important to continuously move forward and be thinking ahead to the next step to help prepare students for the world beyond school.

This would include trying to stay on top of technology, and listening to community members about what issues are important to them for their school district.

What makes you a better choice for the voters than the opposing candidates?

With three school-aged children in the district, I spend a lot of time in the buildings. I think this is necessary to have a better understanding of how we are educating students today and how the board can work to continually improve learning.

Is there anything else you would like the voters to know?

I will continue to be a solid representative of the community by serving on the board and keep looking for ways to keep our district going in the positive direction it is going.

I think a strong and successful school is made by the community as much as the staff and students. This was shown by the recent voted referendum with a nearly 80 percent passage.

Erin Meyermann

Erin Meyermann, 33, is a graduate of Northeast High School. She and her husband, Tony, have two daughters.

She has a bachelor's degree in business administration and finance from Mount St. Clare College and currently is employed by the Sisters of St. Francis in Clinton as their director of finance. She is a graduate of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce Leadership Institute and was recognized in 2012 as a Clinton County Young Leader Under 40 by the LincolnWay Community Foundation.

Meyermann is the religious education coordinator for Assumption Catholic Church in Charlotte and a member of the altar and rosary committee. She is a member of the Deep Creek Campground committee, a volunteer for the Northeast parent-teacher organization, a member of the Gateway Human Resources Association and chair of the Conference of Religious Treasurers for Region 10.

What do you think the role of a school board member should be?

A school board member should be a leader, listener and advocate for the district.

The member should not be afraid to pave new roads of opportunity for the students of the district.

The member should be open to all comments, opinions, questions and concerns that residents, employees, parents and students of the district may have. Board members should not be afraid to address difficult situations.

Why do you want to serve on the school board?

With both of my children in school, I feel now is the time to become involved. I want to be a part of the decisions that will determine their educational experience.

In today's ever-changing environment, the curriculum, athletics, fine arts and technology all are affected by the choices made by the school board. I want to be a part of those decisions.

What makes you qualified to be a board member? What skills would you bring to the board?

I believe my leadership skills and financial background would make me a qualified choice for voters.

I always have been one who takes initiative and responsibility to complete tasks. I have worked in the accounting field for over 15 years (non-profit sector for seven years), and I understand the complexity of school finances.

What are the most important needs in the district at this time, and what would you do as a board member to meet those needs?

I think the needs of the Northeast district are to assure the members of our district and surrounding areas we are doing a superb job at keeping our district in line with new technologies and curriculum.

When something new has proven results in other markets, we can look at that and see if it would be something we would want to bring to our students and if it would be feasible for our current budget.

We are taking big steps this year by approving a new physical education and science addition at the high school and installing air conditioning units at the elementary and high school, but these steps were discussed thoroughly and only came to fruition with the future of the district in mind.

As a board member, I would want to take part in hearing and seeing what other districts are doing to give their students a high level educational experience and then bring back the findings and recommendations to the rest of the board so we, as a group and community, can discuss them.

What are your thoughts on the district's budget and financial priorities?

Northeast has been making smart financial decisions in recent years. I think what they have accomplished and what they are working on for the future is a job well done.

Are there any other issues you would like to see addressed? How would you address them?

I see no new issues the board should be addressing. I feel the public has been well-informed of what the board has been doing, and I hope it continues.

The more the district residents, parents and staff are aware of, the less misunderstandings, confusions and rumors there are. Communication is a key factor of a successful district.

What makes you a better choice for the voters than the opposing candidates?

I am young and would be a fresh voice on the board.

I have two small children in the district, and I would have their future in mind when making decisions for the district.

I feel I am a leader who will listen to all and voice a fair, ethical opinion on matters.

Is there anything else you would like the voters to know?

If elected, I would want the voters to know if they have any concern or question, they could contact me. I will listen to what they have to say and then share the public's voice to other members.

When attending the school board meetings, I would not be sitting there just for my satisfaction. I would be sitting there knowing I was chosen by the residents of the district to represent them and their children in the matters of one of the most important things in life: the education of our youth.

Mary Smith

Mary Smith is a lifelong resident of the Northeast area. She graduated from Northeast Community Schools, as did her husband. Her children also are graduates of Northeast, and she has three grandchildren currently attending Northeast schools.

She previously served on the Northeast school board and also has served on her church's parish council.

Smith works as a medical secretary and also volunteers as an EMT for the community ambulance service. She and her husband are involved in farming.

What do you think the role of a school board member should be?

I believe the role of a school board is to set policy for their school district. The school board serves as the voice of the community in the participation of the education of our students.

Why do you want to serve on the school board?

Successful student achievement is a collaboration of the school district, the community and the students themselves. I believe school boards have an obligation to the taxpayers of their particular district to spend resources wisely.

What makes you qualified to be a board member? What skills would you bring to the board?

I believe my experience working as a school board member along with my experience on parish council makes me a viable candidate for this position.

I believe I have the experience of working together with other board members to form consensus in tackling the many issues faced by our school district. I understand the time commitment necessary to be a good board member and am willing and able to do that.

What are the most important needs in the district at this time, and what would you do as a board member to meet those needs?

I am proud of the advances our school has made in educational programs and in improvements in our facilities. I want to see our district continue to offer quality education for our students. I would like to see our school continue to strive to expand educational programs.

Are there any other issues you would like to see addressed? How would you address them?

I would like to explore ways to increase opportunities for community involvement in our school district.

Is there anything else you would like the voters to know?

I applaud the commitment of staff, community and students in making Northeast Community S


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