Election 2016: Sauk Rapids School Board Looks To Fill 4 Open Seats
SAUK RAPIDS -- We continue our coverage of the 2016 local Elections with a look at the candidates running for the 4 vacant seats on the Sauk Rapids School Board.
Five candidates have filed for the open positions. Incumbents Mark Hauck, Tracey Fiereck, Tracy Morse and Jan Solarz are all seeking re-election, with newcomer Ryan Butkowski rounding out the group.
The general election is on Tuesday November 8th and the top four vote getters will represent the school board. Information on each candidate is below:
Incumbet Tracy Fiereck currently serves as Vice-Chair on the Sauk Rapids School Board. She has two children receiving their education through the school district and loves to be able to not only help shape their education, but impact the many students in the Sauk Rapids school system. Fiereck says her background in school finance would be a valuable asset to the district if re-elected.
"I spend most of my time working on school budgets or funding for schools, so I feel that is a great trait and skill to bring to the school board," says Fiereck.
Fiereck is currently finishing her term as Vice-Chair of the School Board. She says she's very passionate in her work with the school board over the last several years and in providing the best education for their students.
Ryan Butkowski is a former graduate of Sauk Rapids-Rice high school. He's spent the last five years serving on the PTAC Board at Mississippi Heights Elementary as treasurer and president. He says he decided to run because he felt a need to continue to improve student education.
"Whether it is better facilities, closing open enrollment, reducing class sizes, the focus needs to be on our students and on the tax payers to help shape our future," says Butkowski.
Butkowski currently has a son attending Sauk Rapids-Rice high school. He says if elected he would make sure everyone's voice and ideas are heard and taken under careful consideration.
Incumbent Tracy Morse has been involved in the school district in some form for the past 29 years. She says her passion for children is what inspired her to get involved in the school board. Morse says it's important to listen to the changing community and see how they can better grow within the school system.
"We've had a lot of growth in our community and I think helping set a culture of understanding and acceptance to not being the same base as we were five, ten years ago is really important," says Morse.
Morse's passion for helping children goes outside of the school board, she also runs her own daycare service. She says there are some exciting times again for the school district and would be honored to serve on the board once again.
Incumbent Jan Solarz is seeking her sixth term on the Sauk Rapids-Rice school board. She first got involved when her children were going to school, and now that they're grown, wants to continue to make sure every child has an opportunity for a valuable education. Solarz says it's important to keep technology in the classroom.
"I know a lot of people question that, but it's a tool to learn and kids are engaged. Anytime people enter the school you can see students engaged in technology," says Solarz.
She also would like find a way to keep capacity down in the overcrowded elementary schools. Solarz says her experience and long time history on the school board will be a helpful tool moving forward.
Incumbent Mark Hauck is currently serving as chair on the Sauk Rapids-Rice School Board. Calls and emails asking for comment on Hauck's reelection have gone unanswered.