Six Names Up for Three Spots on the St. Cloud School Board
ST. CLOUD -- It's a crowded field for the District 742 School Board election this fall, as six names are on the ballot for three openings.
Zachary Dorholt, Les Green, Peter Hamerlinck, Natalie Ringsmuth, Beth Schlangen and Larry Hosch are on the ballot for residents in 742's borders. Among all of them, there's a lot of education, previous board and even political experience.
Dorholt has been a state representative, and is a licensed mental health professional, mainly working in corrections. He says that's his focus and what helps drive him to the District 742 School Board. Dorholt says his experience in the state legislature, especially on the higher-education committee is a big reason why he should be elected.
"There [the higher education committee] we saw the desires colleges and universities were looking for in students coming into their schools. So I know what we need to prepare our kids for."
Dorholt says with three kids in the district he's very invested in its future success. He also says his professional experience would make him an excellent board member.
Green is a former board member, having served as board chair for a time. He feels the district is moving in a good direction. Green has also been a substitute teacher and para-professional. He says his former board experience is important, and he says after being off the board for a time, he'd make a better one than he did before.
"After being off the board and doing a great deal of substitute teaching, and a number of other things. I found out there's things I should've known when I was on the board before, that will make me a better board member."
Green says one of the most important things for the board is for there to be a number of different backgrounds and experiences on it. He approves of the job Superintendent Willie Jett has been doing and says he'll support him for the long haul.
Hamerlinck has served on the board previously, form 2010-2014. Between several different avenues, he's stayed very connected with District 742. Hamerlinck says his interconnectedness in the district would serve the community well on the board.
"I stay in touch with a lot of people in the district. Whether it be parents or students while I'm at sporting events, I feel like I'm a go-to guy for a lot of people."
Hamerlinck is still a member of several different District 742 committees and says he's fielded plenty of phone calls saying he should get back in the game.
Ringsmuth is best known as the Founder and Director of #UNITECLOUD. She's a central Minnesota native, and is active in several different community organizations, along with working as a legal assistant. Ringsmuth says she brings a wealth of different experience to the board.
"I'm a very active parent and have also been on a school board before. So I feel like I can bring my expertise as a school board member, as a parent and as a former educator. I used to be a middle school choir teacher in Georgia."
She says she'll be able to wear several different hats. Seeing issues through lenses as a parent, former educator and former board member.
Schlangen went to high school in the Granite City and left to become a nurse. After coming back a few years ago, she says she's concerned with how 742 is doing. Schlangen points to experience on another school board, and her negotiation skills as reasons she should be elected.
"I've been on boards before, treasurer, president of a Christian school, and have experience working with union negotiations."
Test results, gender issues and mental health issues are several of the things Schlangen would like to tackle as a board member.
Hosch is a former mayor of St. Joseph, business owner, legislator and currently serves on the St. Joseph Economic Development Authority along with several other organizations in the St. Cloud area. Hosch says District 742 is a great district to be a part of, and he would advocate for it while on the board.
"I'm inspired every day by what happens in our district. I think we need to be advocating for District 742. We are a destination district in so many different ways."
Hosch would like to work toward integrating the district's educational opportunities with local businesses more so than it is. Saying it would go a long way to preparing 742 students for the future.
The general election is November 6th.