Mark Akers: I am a good listener. I am able to listen to all side of a subject and help others reach the most viable solution for the problem.
Mark Bourdon: I have experience and training in nonprofit management as well as board development and strategic planning. I have been on numerous boards in a variety of positions and I have been a consultant to boards on board roles and responsibilities, including strategic planning. I have conducted and facilitated strategic planning for a variety of nonprofit organizations in the region.
David Colter: My personal teaching experience, along with a long history of many family members in education (my wife is a teacher at Cheney Middle School, my Dad has been a Superintendent for 30 years, mom, brother, sister-in-law, grandma, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. have all taught) should tell you I have been around the education "business" for a long time. Having a Master's of Education with emphasis in Leadership and Management (I see myself being a principal today if I would have stayed in education), and currently being involved in the ownership/management of running eight small businesses, I believe I would bring an unique experience/skill set to the School Board - in a very humble way.
With having a wife teaching in the district and the first of my three daughters starting kindergarten next year, I have a deep desire for this district to succeed in every way possible. Anyone that knows me will attest that I am a caring person who wants the best for the people around me. I will apply this same passion and drive to the school district. If elected, my role will be to listen, ask questions, gather facts, educate myself, develop trusting relationships, and then make decisions on what I feel are best for the school district ...whether popular or not. I do this on a daily basis with the businesses I oversee now. I have no hidden agenda in running for the school board. If elected, I will work as hard and as smart as I possibly can. Since it has been on my heart for the last four years, I have been praying and discussing with close friends about this decision for awhile now...so I am excited to see how this plays out.
Jenny Durbin: I have worked with the Eastwood PTA for the past 6 years. I have learned a lot by serving as the president for the past 2 years. I have many relationships with parents and teachers and I believe that my involvement in school board decisions will be beneficial to everyone. I have a willingness to learn whatever it takes to be a well-respected board member. I am not shy about speaking up about things that I'm passionate about. The kids need a strong voice and I want to be that voice.
Rhonda Hawley: I am a listener, communicator, team builder, public speaker, partner, problem solver, leader, business analyst with technical talents, and most importantly, I am a mom, who deeply cares for her children's education and the future of all students and staff in our district.
Angela Korsmo: Besides many of the same attributes as the other candidates (parent, district resident for many years, concern for the well-being of the district), I am a former teacher so I understand the teacher's point of view. Because I don't have kids in school now, I can be objective and unbiased when I make decisions. I have been on the school board for twelve years, and I understand school finance and the budget process. I realize what is involved in planning for the future and what the obstacles are. I am collaborative, principled, can see various solutions to a problem, and able to see the big picture without losing sight of details. I understand that our taxpayers provide the money to operate our schools and that we must be frugal in how we spend those dollars and still provide quality education for the students.
Judy Kvaale: West Fargo teacher, and education has been and continues to be my passion. I understand the education community and believe this will be an asset to the school board. Because of my experiences and background, I can come to the table with a new perspective and educational understanding(s) providing more insight on many issues helping the school board make educationally sound decisions on what's best for our students. I strongly feel there should be a voice from the education community on a school board.
I also believe my presence on the school board as a former educator, parent and long-time resident of West Fargo will be instrumental in improving the trust and communication issues the school board has with the district's staff and the community. I am very excited about this opportunity.
Jason Loos: As an attorney I have a lot of experience negotiating a wide variety of disputes. I am a good listener but realize that tough decisions cannot be discussed ad nausea. Difficult decisions rarely make everyone happy. An effective leader needs to make these decisions based on what is best for their constituents.
If elected I believe I will be able to make the difficult decisions that face the district.
Christine McDougall: I really don't think I have any special abilities, attributes or talents that make me stand out. I believe we are ALL passionate about our children's education and believe that we can make a difference.
Karen Nitzkorski: I've learned through active listening, nine years of school board experience, and by popular and unpopular decision making what it takes to lead a dynamic school district.
David Olson: I attended school, raised a family, and ran a family owned business for the last 35 years in the town of West Fargo. We have two children that go to school and we own a house in West Fargo. My history and current status in West Fargo provide me a sense of loyalty and pride in my community and school district I want what is best for my kids and all other students in our district and I will work tirelessly to make sure that happens.
With my business background I will value our taxpayer's hard earned money and use it wisely and conservatively. I believe in the art of compromise and I know that, if elected, I will be only one member of a seven-person team that should check their egos at the front door and work for the betterment of our students, staff, and community. I also enjoy getting out all over our district and asking people what they are concerned about and need. I think these philosophies and my passion for education and our district all add up to make me an excellent choice for West Fargo School Board.
Mark Sahli: I have the skill set to provide negotiating skills and communication skills. My forte is consensus building and getting groups to work towards a common cause. My experience in multiple areas of education, especially the military allow me to bring forth the best qualities in a school board member. My proudest accomplishment as it relates to education and working with government entities was my spearheading of moving a training facility from California to ND. This by working and engaging groups to include: Governor of ND, State Adjutant General, USARC, Guard Bureau and many others to accomplish the transfer.
Janel Simonson: I feel that with my experience and education in education as well as my experience as a parent and school counselor in two of the other metro districts, I can bring a new face and new vision to the students and community of West Fargo. I am passionate about education and the students, staff, families and the community that is affiliated with it. I grew up in a family of educators. My father was a school administrator in ND for 40 years, I have a brother and sister that are retired ND teachers and a brother that is in education in MN.