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Beatrice School Board, Dist 15

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  • Gene Fiester

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    Neal Trantham

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 Work for an employee owned company-Mead Lumber.
Education High School graduate
Current Public Office, dates held None
Past Public Office, dates held None
Military experience US Army-Sergeant-Honorable Discharge. Served from May 1992 to February 1999. Part of the 3 Infantry Division for service in Kuwait.
Volunteer experience None
Address 1100 Meriwether Street
Marital Status Married
Age 48
Well, during this pandemic, I think every school district has had to think outside of the box for the protection of the students and staff. I believe this could be a turn for better educational opportunities. I believe that the next step should be eliminating textbooks and going to e-books. Additionally, having every student equip with chrome books. Homework will be turned in through the chrome book and the faculty shall review and send the student homework or test in a faster time period.
Well, unfortunately the first thing that was not performed was a Covid test for all faculty before the plan was in motion. This would create a baseline for the health of all faculty. Additionally, the 6 foot space should be enforced from the beginning to the end of a school day. We should not see clumps of students together waiting to see if they have to get a temperature check or not. Also, buses should be staggered and schools should be open to students thirty (30) minutes prior to school starting.
This question is the embodiment of my campaign. First, is the start of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) infused classes. Second, is the start of the Life Skills classes as a requirement for Seniors in High School. This class will be about checkbook accounting, legal- reading a contract for renting a residence and/or vehicle. sewing a button, and other items that community leaders see as a weakness in young adults to better prepare them for life in the 21st Century. Revised the students handbook to be the same throughout their elementary, middle, and high school life. Any changes will be started by their student council, because school is their students micro government. This will make the students more responsible and aware of their own student government and give them something they have not received, a voice.
Occupation I have served Southeast NE for 22 in state law enforcement, presently as a criminal investigator
Education I hold a 4 year degree from Kansas State University.
Current Public Office, dates held N/A
Past Public Office, dates held N/A
Military experience N/A
Volunteer experience My wife and I are actively engaged in volunteering through BPS activities to include Parent Teacher Organization, fund raisers, and have been sponsors for field trips and other activities.
Address Beatrice NE
Marital Status Married
Age 44
In this uncertain time of Covid-19, technology is more important than ever. I believe that the district must lead in distance learning opportunities, and have contingency plans in place.

Our future workers (who are our children) must graduate with more than basic computer skills, so that they are primed for success in college and in the work force. As a district, we must invest in learning opportunities for students that encourage this to happen.
School districts have many safety needs.

The first need is physical safety of students and staff from violence. I support the use of School Resource Officers from the Beatrice Police Department, and feel that the two officers (Lauenstein and Price) have been a great addition to the staff. In addition, I believe that we need to increase our video monitoring, and door entry security.

Other needs include overall health concerns. Covid-19 has changed the world forever. I support the current school administration's decisions in following the advice of local and state health care professionals (social distancing, use of masks, cleaning of surfaces, etc.). I believe that the goal should be to keep schools open as long as the infection rate is under control.

I believe strongly in recruiting and retaining the best teachers and staff. Having the best educators ensures that our students will be served and ready for success. Before anything else, we must make good hiring and staffing decisions.

From there, the role of the school board is to listen to those educators and support their goals and objectives. The staff knows best what students need. When possible (and within the budget), it is then the role of the school board to find ways to finance new technologies/programs/opportunities to ensure that our students are ready for the 21st century job market.

While I went to college and obtained a 4 year degree, I realize that this may not be the path for all students. I believe in vocational training, and would support making additions to agricultural and vocational programs.