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North Bend Central School Board, Dist 595

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    Bob Feurer

  • R Douglas Hoops

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    Andy Swanson

  • Karrie Van Nortwick

Biographical Information

How can your school district improve its use of technology, including broadband access, to foster better equity and educational outcomes?

What can be done to ensure the safety of students and teachers in your school?

As a school board member, how do you best advocate for your district's teachers and students in preparing students for the 21st century job market?

Occupation I taught 7-12 science for 37 years but retired four years ago.
Education BS/E and MS/E both from Kearney State College, 1978 and 1984, respectively
Current Public Office, dates held North Bend Central Board of Ed, 2016 to present
Past Public Office, dates held none to note
Military experience none
Volunteer experience Curator of Franklin-Cotterell Greens arboretum, 1991 to present, Dodge County Long Term Recovery Committee, volunteer tree work North Bend City Park, North Bend Economic Development Committee,
Address 1140 Locust North Bend, NE 68649
Marital Status married
Age 66
Twitter @bfeurer
Using technology to replicate what is already being done is a misuse of the resource. It should be used to make students producers rather than consumers; photo albums, movies of phenomena or performance, digital portfolios, data analysis, music, ad campaigns, web pages, blogposts and podcasts can all be accomplished. Students are currently finding Zoom as a tool to gather at a distance with their teachers and classmates as well as a tool to gather information. Not certain how to address the broadband access situation as there are so many carriers out there and our district hosts students from 13 zip codes.This may be more a state legislature issue than a local one. We are currently providing wifi "hot spots" as our district has undertaken an elearnining platform during the Covid outbreak but don't know if that will be sustainable in the future.
Honestly, there is not a way to ensure safety 100%. We have approximately 150 closed circuit cameras around campus; both elementary and secondary as well as on all of our route buses. We have buzz in access only during the school day. We have also hired a school resource officer who is shared with a neighboring district. Our campus is extremely well lit including the back parking areas of the building. Access is granted to faculty and staff by key card. A lot of problems can be prevented by taking care of the mental health aspects of all persons in the buildings. We have recently hired a full time counsellor instead of contracting with the ESU. Bullying education also has a key role in preventing safety situations.
I've found that aspect more of a challenge than I thought it would be when I was first elected. I participated in an international group called Modern Learners and took an eight week experience called Change School which drastically changed my perspectives on the difference between "school" and "learning"; they are not the same thing! Testing drives too much of education with little to no gains shown from millions and millions of dollars spent. Students need to become producers of content rather than consumers. They have more information gathering power in their pockets than in 1,000s of city libraries. We need to break down the study by subject, study by age group and come to understand that seat time is not the same as learning! Why do we assume that achievement on standardized tests is the best way to measure the success of students and schools? Why do we do what we do? How can we make it better? I have a pretty experienced and progressive group of friends who keep me fresh!
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Occupation Sales rep for an agricultural chemical manufacturer.
Education Graduate of NBC ('99), BS in Agricultural Science from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Current Public Office, dates held None
Past Public Office, dates held None
Military experience None
Volunteer experience I volunteer my time for Knights of Columbus fundraisers. I am also a 7th grade Parish Religious Education teacher.
Address 1020 Birch St. North Bend, NE 68649
Marital Status Married for 15 years to my wife, Tiffany.
Age 39
During this current Corona virus crisis, I feel that our district has done a great job of utilizing technology to continue the children's education. There are those homes, however, who do not have access to reliable internet connections, whether it is because of household income, or due to geography (when you live in the country, you know where the 'good' spots are for reception). I believe that our school and other schools in rural Nebraska can amplify the call for better coverage and more widespread internet access. This will benefit all of us in rural areas, not just our schools.
While we will never be able to eliminate all risk from our daily lives, I do believe that when it comes to safety in our schools, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In the next decade, North Bend Central will be one of three public high schools in this county. We will continue to grow with new students as the geography of our community grows. We need to make sure that we maintain a small enough class size so that our teachers are able to know their students and be able to pick up on cues that things may be changing in a student's life, and have the time to ask a few questions or offer some guidance. I also believe that being involved in activities with their peers is a great way for students to stay engaged. While athletics is a great way to do this, going out for a sport is not for everyone, and often these are the kids who get lost. I'd like to see an equal amount of emphasis placed on activities outside of sports to keep kids involved and included.
Sometimes we can all get trapped in our own echo chambers and not realize that the world has continued on. I believe that the education system has been slow to change in the past. I am very proud of the continuing change that I have seen in our school district in the 20 years since I graduated. I think that NBC grads are some of the most prepared to enter the work force or continue with their education. We need to seek out entrepreneurs and industry leaders to ask their opinions on how we can adapt for the next ten years rather than react to what has happened in the last ten. Opportunity abounds in this age of rapid change if we can give our students the skills to meet the challenges that inevitably come along with those opportunities.
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